The hubby and I were wandering down Kensington High Street when I was waylaid by a charming French boy urging me to come into his shop. I said that I really didn’t have time to do whatever he wanted me to do and that my husband wouldn’t be thrilled by my desertion. This protestation fell on very deaf French ears and I found myself seated by a mirror in his workplace. “My name is Eric. I will show you the most fabulous cream for your lines,” said Eric. “How terribly kind, Eric, but I really don’t have the time for this, however marvellous your cream is!”
I tried to get up before Eric pushed me back down in my seat. “This very special cream has gold in it!” he said as he dabbed one eyelid with his greased fingertip. “Look, look already the creases are leaving your face!” Eric was impressed.
“Wonderful, who wouldn’t be totally thrilled by that but, Eric, my husband will be waiting anxiously and I need to leave!”
I made another lunge for freedom. Eric studiously ignored me, dabbing a different tube of gunk onto my cheek bone. “This is the other cream you use after the first cream! This too has gold in it! Soon you will see wrinkles gone away!”
“OK, brilliant, but how much is all this gold going to cost?” Eric pursed his lips. He had loads more script to relay and he didn’t like missing out on any of it. The cost bit was way down the page and I was muddling him terribly. I received another little push down when I tried to get up. Was I a hostage here? He certainly wasn’t allowing me to go anywhere.
“Eric, I am enchanted that you are helping me lose all the lines on one side of my face, which incidentally I wasn’t aware were so obvious at a distance, but either let me escape or spit it out how much this is going to cost me!”
Eric sighed and then brightened. “You have asked twice, so I will tell you. Today, a very special offer! Each cream is £200 BUT today you have first cream for £200 and second cream for nothings!”
“I don’t think so Eric, I would need to win the lottery for that.”
My French boy was not finished. “Today also another offer! You can have half price first cream and no take second cream.” Even I could work out that was exactly the same deal as before.
“Do you know what, Eric? As soon as I win the lottery I am coming straight back here. I will ask for you personally. I hope you will still be here? And then I will buy both creams and you can put them on both my eyes and I will be forever grateful that I met you! I will be shimmered in gold and everyone will ask me why I look so young and I will say Eric sold me magical creams! Now will you let me get on please?”
Eric realised that all the gold in the world and all his French charm wasn’t going to win him this round but I think we both felt quite pleased with the other. I had one eye that was line-free and Eric had scored himself at least ten minutes of hostage-taking. Result!
The hubby, found loitering in a doorway, asked why I couldn’t have had both eyes done and wouldn’t I be forever lopsided, with one eye permanently younger than the other? It’s a fair point! Though one that I will not be asking Eric anytime soon.