Fed up with the excuse for a kitchen, and with eating out all the time we decided to make our first big purchase together. It was Saturday morning and we took the short walk across Soho to the Liberty store.
In the basement we found what we’d been looking for. It was 1983 and microwave ovens were all the rage, and we were going to get one for our bedroom/bedsit so we could at least heat food at home.
“Hi guys, I’m John. Can I help you with anything?” The sales assistant sidled over and asked. We gave him the once over. Blonde short hair, droopy moustache, white shirt and smart well filled trousers.
“I’m sure you can, John,” I replied in the same tone he had asked his question.
“Is this what you’re interested in?” he asked managing to point to the microwave and grab his crotch at the same time.
Tony and I made rapid eye contact and smiled. “Definitely;” Tony said.
John proceeded to tell us the specifications of the microwave, most of which went over my head.
“Is there any chance of a discount for cash?” Tony asked cheekily.
“Sorry guys, I’d bend over backwards for two good looking guys like you, but discounts are tricky,” John apologised, “Hang on though I’m pretty sure that’s a dent just there so I could try for a little discount.”
There was no dent really, the microwave was in perfect condition.
“We’d be grateful of as big a one as you can get for us.” Tony maintained eye contact with the assistant. My eyes were elsewhere.
“I bet,” John laughed. He sashayed off to the cash till and spoke to another guy nodding in our direction. They both gave us the once over before finishing their discussion before John came back. “I can give you ten,” he advised. “That’s percent: ten percent off today,” .
“Ten is good,” I laughed.
“We’ll take it,” Tony added.
“I hoped you might.” John grabbed a box and in moments we were at the cash till with the microwave all packed up and paid for ready to go. The box was huge. Microwaves in the 80s were big, bulky and heavy.
“I just need your address and number for our records,” John told us.
“Really?” I asked.
“Of course not, but I’ve got to get to see you both somehow,” John replied winking.
“What time do you get off?” Tony asked.
“I finish work at six today, so any time after that,” John added another meaning.
“Then we’ll be in the admiral Duncan at seven if you fancy a drink, or something,” Tony told him looking at me for confirmation. I nodded agreement.
“I’ll see you later then,” John said leaving us to manhandle the heavy microwave package to the street and into a cab.
“Shaftesbury avenue, Opposite McDonalds,” Tony told the driver. Turning to me over the top of the huge box he added “Interesting morning’s shopping, A micro wave and a macro package.”