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Either That Or He Was Looking For A Handout

, , , , , | Working | June 24, 2022

In the eighties, I worked for a newsagent at a local train station.

One day, a young man came in and asked for a packet of “Free”. The only thing we sold by that name was a brand of cigarettes not made from tobacco — I seem to remember the ingredients included cherry leaves. They came in “ordinary” and “menthol”.

Me: “Do you want the menthol-flavoured ones?”

It took about a fraction of a second for his face to turn crimson and he left the shop rather hurriedly.

Only later did I realize that he had probably wanted to buy condoms, as “Free” was a popular brand of condoms back then. Our condoms were a different brand, and I only thought of the one thing we sold with the name “Free”. I did feel sorry for the poor guy.

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