I've written before about things that happened when I worked on Saturday afternoons in our local charity shop (aka thrift store). But, this one probably totally takes the biscuit!
I'd imagine just why they were buying stuff from us, older ladies buying wool then sitting comfortably knitting in the evenings, children playing with pre-loved toys, folk enjoying a jigsaw, young girls showing off their clothing bargains......and so it went on.
One guy, quiet and very innocuous, used to nip in quite often late on a Saturday afternoon to look for bargains. 'Ah, how sweet' I thought, 'buying clothes for his housebound Mum'. Then he began asking Little Miss Helpful's advice. Would this top go with that skirt and so on - and I realised that it was in fact a housebound partner/wife he was buying for. After all, I couldn't see his elderly Mum wearing a chiffon top and a mini-skirt. I even advised him on some makeup for her - we were allowed to sell sealed and unused toiletries and makeup BTW.
Then, one Saturday he whizzed in just before closing time and quietly asked if he could buy a wedding dress, reduced to £25. 'Fine' said Little Miss Helpful here and scurried off to get Rita, our manageress, as the rail was very high and we needed steps to reach up to remove wedding and evening gowns. Rita grabbed the steps and when I pointed out who the customer was whispered something to me about him working with radios before going to the front of the shop to lift down said wedding dress.
I took a few steps to follow her and a big light bulb suddenly went on in this stooopid little head.What she'd actually said was 'He's our local tranny' - and in my day a 'tranny' was short for transistor radio. Ha, not so at all - it's now short for transvestite innit :(
Rita, seeing the light finally dawn on Little Miss Helpful, said 'Can you tidy up the bric-a-brac Di, while I serve'. She could see the bright red face and bulging eyes on yours truly, who was likely to burst into hysterics at any moment. So, I hopped around behind the tall bric-a-brac shelves - tidying and peeking at the same time - whilst a huge pair of donkey's ears grew outta the top of my head :( And when Rita threw in a veil for free I almost wet myself on the spot!
Thankfully, Mr Tranny paid up sharpish then disappeared and the shop was closed for the day. At that point, the girls in the back of the shop all raced out hooting with laughter at 'Donkey' here - they'd been watching over the previous months (yup, it had been months) and marvelling at the innocence. One of them howled 'You didn't even flicker or begin to twig the other week when he came in and bought those ladies size 8 patent leather red high heels, you Dumbo!'
The embarrassment at my own stupidity was a source of much amusement for some time afterwards I can tell you.
That evening, when I was relating the tale to Len over a much-needed glass of vino in the garden he quietly observed that I really shouldn't be let out to play without supervision :(
Let me also say, it's each to their own, I have no problems with what folk do (so long as it isn't hurtful or criminal) some of my best friends are either gay or transsexual....... my only problem is that I truly had absolutely no idea so for long!