674. The butcher


Trent went to the butcher’s. He’d never been to that butchery before. It was a square, high room with walls painted light blue. There was no meat on display, but there were four wooden chopping butcher’s tables arranged in the centre of the room. An older woman – clearly the butcher – sat in a chair against the wall.

“Can I help?” she said.

“Yes,” said Trent, “have you got any lamb chops?”

“Not at the moment,” said the butcher.

“What about beef patties?” asked Trent.

“I suppose you want two?” she said.

“It depends on the size,” said Trent.

Trent stood there. The woman continued to sit. Trent looked around the room. It was very plain. There was nothing hanging on the walls. Not a picture! Nothing! Trent thought she should have hung a carcass of a dead animal there; it would have improved the ambiance.

“This is a nice room,” said Trent.

The butcher continued to sit, like Trent wasn’t there. Then she looked at him.

“Well?” said Trent.

“Well what?” said the butcher.

“The beef patties,” said Trent.

The woman stared at nothing in particular. Trent left.

He kind of felt all wonky in the head. Sort of surreal. To this day he has no idea what was going on.

45 thoughts on “674. The butcher

  1. Oscar Alejandro Plascencia

    So that’s what became of the “Where’s The Beef?” old gal!

    It’s just as well that he never got his beef patties…who knows what cadaver it would have came from judging from the relic butcher.

    The butcher actually represents your raw emotions or improper behavior!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Keith Channing

    There was I, waiting for her to use her super-human strength to hoist him onto one of the tables and start chopping him up; some sort of climactic ending, but… nothing. I now appreciate how my wife feels after…
    but perhaps it’s best not to speak about such things.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. derrickjknight

    For a Londoner this is quite simple. All she was offering was a good butcher’s. Butcher’s Hook is Cockney slang for Look. “Give us a Butcher’s at your paper mate.” Butcher’s Hook is used across London and beyond, and widely understood throughout the UK. It’s classic Cockney Rhyming Slang. The way this works is you take a two word phrase, the second part of which rhymes with the subject. Then you ignore that second word and use only the first.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      I always wondered how it worked – and that is simply and brilliantly explained. I think Australians use it but New Zealanders don’t. The NZ accent (for example) is cockney-based but it comes via Australia during the NZ goldrush. The NZ settlers were more upper class than the Aussies, but the Aussies came over and deposited the accent but not the rhyming slang!

      Liked by 1 person


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