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Shoes, I needed new shoes. That’s why we were at the Bata showroom yesterday. The ‘we’ included, the sis, brother-in-law, the Lord and Master and of course yours truly, the one who needed those shoes. We had been to the beach in the evening, but instead of waiting to catch the sunset in all its glory, we had to beat a hasty retreat. Not of course that we were, rather I was, in such a hurry to buy shoes. The bike rally of the youth wing of a political party, in preparation of their leader’s arrival the next day, had chosen that very time to swarm the road leading to the beach. Rather than be caught in the middle of it all, we made good our escape while we could.  With dinner still some time away, we decided to go shoe-shopping.

So there we were at the Bata showroom. I was on the lookout for a pair worthy of replacing the sturdy and trusted old pair which I am even now loathe to send into retirement. Reluctantly, I settled on a couple of possible replacements for my old pair. Off went the salesman to get the chosen ones in my size. Meanwhile, the L & M who cannot sit still for even a second when there is nothing to do, wandered off to where the sis and b-i-l were sitting. A little later I could hear the three of them laughing. A man could be heard apologizing profusely, and repeatedly, with the L & M replying that it was alright, to not give it a thought..

Nonplussed, I raised an inquiring brow. This, it seems, is what had transpired.

The L & M who likes a joke just as much as the next person, and is ready to play the fool had, on walking over to the sis and B-i-l, pointed to the footwear on display and asked them:

“Ma’am, Sir, How about this one, or may be you’d like the other one?”

Not to be outdone, the B-i-l replied,

“I will have a shoe for the right foot and a slipper for my left foot.”

This was followed by predictable laughter. Clowns, one and all, that’s what we are as a family.

Anyways, just then a head peeped from around the wall of slippers hanging on hooks, and a shoe was thrust under the L & M’s nose. The man, a stranger, then asked him if they had the pair in Size 9.

There was silence for a split second, followed by laughter as it was explained to the by now embarrassed customer that the L & M did not after all own the shop but was just another customer.

I had not yet stopped laughing listening to all this when another man walked up to the L & M and asked him,

“Do you have this shoe in any other color?”

The L & M patted the man on his shoulder and said,

“It’s the black tee I am wearing, I know!”