Tuesday 2 December 2014

The Strangest Conversation I Have Ever Had About Paperweights

It looked a bit like this, but with a diving helmet.
I should have written this up last week. Whilst at the York Diving College, you are offered the chance to buy some of their souvenirs by viewing them in the display cabinet. (You're offered it several times - they really like you to know where the list for the souvenirs is. Which is fair, since running any form of diving operation can be insanely expensive.)

I already own more T-shirts than I need, but I did fancy a keyring. I also fancied a rather nice perspex paperweight with the image of an old-fashioned diving helmet inside it, as a Christmas present for AuntOfCyclingDiver, who was a diver long before I was. I wrote "keyring and big perspex box with old-fashioned diving helmet" on the list.

An hour later, just before we went in the decompression chamber, the lady running the bar appeared through the door and started handing out the souvenirs and collecting the cash. All went smoothly, until she got to me.

"Are you the lady who ordered the paperweight?"

"Yes, if we're talking about a big clear block with a diving helmet in it, that was me."

"Sorry, I'm afraid we're out of them. The supplier's dead."

I couldn't help it. I laughed. Which is awful, but it was the sheer unexpectedness of it. I was expecting "We've run out" or "We don't make them any more."

"Okay, is there any chance you could sell me the one in the display cabinet?"

"Afraid not. Sorry."

"Okay." [beat] "If you don't mind me saying, maybe if it's not for sale, you could take the paperweight out of the display cabinet."

"Okay. Well, you know how the light in the cabinet doesn't work?"

"Ah." [beat] "Is the key lost?"

"Afraid so. Sorry."

It was on the tip of my tongue to ask if all the locksmiths in North Yorkshire were also dead, but fortunately diplomacy prevailed.

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