Just after Christmas, The Mustress Mhor asked the Robbing Butcher when he intended to open after the New Year festivities were over. Readers must bear in mind that we are in Scotland, where Hogmanay is celebrated with gusto for many days (and months, in some cases).
The Robbing Butcher gave a hollow laugh, stared at The Mustress, then retreated into the back of his shop, no doubt to exhort the New Hens to even better production rates. More of that later.
It was left to the Robbing Butcher’s grandson to appease The Mustress. He claimed that the shop would be open “at some point” in the future, and declined to be further drawn on the matter.
Dissatisfied, The Mustress exited the shop, and returned to Mhor Cottage, where Mr. Mhor was pretending to do the hoovering.
The next day, the Robbing Butcher was assailed on the village Facebook page, by people who wanted to know his intentions with regard to post-Hogmanay opening hours.
It goes without saying that the Robbing Butcher refused to commit himself. However, he did (eventually) say that the shop would be open “a day or two” after Hogmanay.
The Mustress sallied forth to the shop on January 5th, therefore, imagining that even the Robbing Butcher would have recovered from his New Year Hangover by then. Surprisingly, he was open – although the Robbing Butcher himself was “not currently available”, as his grandson delicately put it.
Annoyed, The Mustress requested that an entire circular square sausage (fourteen inches, to be exact) should be reserved for her in two days time. Accordingly, on Thursday 8th January, the Mustress visited the shop yet again, to collect her fourteen inch sausage.
Reader – it was not there. The Robbing Butcher had not made one. He had made rectangular square sausage in vast quantities, though.
You would think it would be easy to make a long, uncut circular square sausage, wouldn’t you, if you had mixed up the ingredients to make the rectangular version? After all – the ingredients are exactly the same (and many people may wonder, with some justification, why some people prefer circular square sausage, when it tastes the same as its rectangular partner-in-crime).
But I will have an answer. This behaviour will not be tolerated. The Robbing Butcher absolutely must supply his customers with whatever they request (in the butchery line, of course – nobody would expect to find fishing tackle in a butcher’s shop – except………well, that is also another story).