The atmosphere at the shop counter is becoming noticeably tense. I’ve been here too long, I can tell. “That’s £1.50,” the shop assistant says, for the third time. I can see that what veneer of customer care she had tried to maintain a few moments ago has shattered. I grin, trying to appease her, she glares.
The problem, you see, is pockets. I’m wearing my brand new walking trousers and they feel as though they have several thousand of them right at this moment. I can feel my change, I can hear it jingle but I can’t find it. I have pockets with press studs, pockets within pockets, zipped pockets, knee pockets, thigh pockets, bum pockets, all sadly empty.
I begin to wonder if there might but connecting passageways between the pockets and that my change is moving from one to the other in an effort to evade my fumbling fingers. Why walking trousers have so many pockets I have no idea. When I go walking I carry a rucksack, that’s a thing to put my things in so why I need multiple carrying pockets in my trousers that I don’t otherwise need I have no idea.
It’s all the more embarrassing for me as I am very impatient at those folk who arrive at the checkout seemingly unaware that they will be required to pay for their goods. Only when the checkout girl states an amount do they even begin to search for their wallet and when they do find it their money is inevitably contained in a secret compartment guarded by zips, combination locks and several security guards.
The whole concept of walking trousers is a little strange as it implies that there are trousers you can’t walking in. Imagine the snooty shop assistant as you stumble into the shop to complain your trousers trip you up, “Ah sir, you see those are sitting down trousers you’ve got there, completely unsuitable for walking.”
Apparently so man German hikers have taken to walking about nude the Swiss have had to ban them by law. Must be a dire trouser shortage in Germany. My only question is, where do they keep their small change?