Tonight I called into the supermarket on my way home from the office. It was very busy and, as someone who sees scope for divorce everywhere she turns, I pushed my trolley down the aisles expecting to be confronted by domestic disharmony at every shelf. As it was I didn’t encounter a single dispute, be it over the supermarket’s own brand compared to a well known label; buying the one item that’s really wanted as opposed to taking advantage of a 3 for 2 offer; organic or inorganic; freshly squeezed or reconstituted. Even the young man who served me at the check-out couldn’t help but let slip how happily married he is.

Of course, it isn’t always like that. Indeed I recall one occasion, once upon a time, when I came across two elderly gents sharing notes next to the cheese counter. “I’ve lost my new wife,” one of them said. “We parted next to the cornflakes. I’d so have liked you to meet her. She said she was just slipping into town on an errand and would meet me here, but she’s half an hour late.”

“That’s a co-incidence,” said the other, “My wife of forty years seems to have disappeared too. What does yours look like?”

I pricked up my ears. After all these women were possibly clients of mine and anything could have happened to them.

“Well, she’s 24, curves in the right places, blonde hair down to her waist, legs as long as drain pipes and she’s wearing a mini skirt and stiletto heels. What about yours?”

“Oh, never mind about her, let’s track yours down first!” he suggested, with a twinkle in his eye.


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