Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Free enterprise

In the North West, we're used to lads coming around the pubs offering various goods for sale: batteries, lighters, socks, shirts or similar, although there don't seem to be as many as there used to be. Some pubs ban them, but they're not persistent and just wander off if you say "no thanks". However, I do wonder where they get their supplies from. One character I used to know in Southport went several stages further in enterprise: he'd steal whatever you wanted from a shop for a price, as long as it was small enough to be concealed about his person. He had lined his jacket specially to hide the goods from the detectors at shop entrances. I remember some people getting good bottles of spirits cheaply that way, although I never availed myself of his services. The last I heard he was in prison.

Some years ago, I discovered there is North-South divide in such activities. I was in Bournemouth for a union conference and waiting for some friends in a pub, when I was asked by a young man with the familiar large bag: "Would you like to buy some venison?"


  1. Sadly I only seem to see DVD sales people in pubs and that seems to be disappearing too.

  2. DVD sales? Posh where you are then!

  3. Perhaps Hounslow has upwardly mobile pretensions? The ripped off goods being classier than the lighters and batteries you get offered in Liverpool.

  4. Actually, Nev, the seller was Chinese. Well, perhaps that's why...


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