I overheard the strangest conversation in my local bookstore yesterday. After suffering yet another sleepless night with Jack, the never-satisfied breastfed boy, I had decided to take Stan and the children out for lunch and then for a browse around the bookshop. And guess who slept soundly throughout!!
Anyway, as I flicked through some photography books I heard a man nearby announce in a loud voice for all to hear, "Oh, I'm a Buddhist." A lady's voice then replied excitedly, "Are you really? Oh how interesting!" and the two of them got into animated conversation.
Now, I didn't pass much heed until I was standing waiting to pay for my books at the counter. But, as seconds turned to minutes and no-one made any appearance to serve me, I looked around and quickly realised that the man in conversation was supposed to be behind the counter.
Naturally handsome and dressed in expensive but casual clothes, at that point he was busy inviting the girl to allow him to look deeply into her eyes for some reason -and for some reason she obliged! Then he asked her if she was aware of the meaning of the word tantric!
By now I was having trouble controlling the urge to suggest he look into my eyes and say the words ,"That'll be £27.99, please." as the children were beginning to wander off and I felt uncomfortable calling them back in such a quiet shop! (It would be like shouting in a library!)
Eventually, I heard him say he would have to serve the customer (me) - and promptly proceeded to shout to another shop assistant (who just happened to appear) to take my payment as he stated to his new friend that he was due a lunch break and would like to continue discussing the meaning of Buddhism over coffee!
He then took off out the door like his heels were on fire, leaving the other assistant looking slightly cross - as if it wasn't the first time he had done a runner with a potential cutomer!
Now I confess I know very little about Buddhism. However, although obviously not all Buddhists are monks, my impression of Buddhists has always been one of monks praying, dressed in flowing robes and with their heads shaved. I was always under the impression it was a very pure, simple and peaceful religion with personal spiritual development at its core.
But none of this applied to the Buddhist in the bookstore! From what I witnessed he was well practised in using his beliefs to get the girl and I really don't think personal spiritual development was the reason why he ran off to have coffee with her at 2pm in the afternoon. After all, don't Buddhists refrain from meals after noon? And don't they also refrain from drugs - but maybe decaff was what my Buddhist was after!
However, having heard quite a few chat up lines in my time, I feel this "Buddhist" certainly had his off to a fine art!
I wonder did it work out for him - and I wonder who his next victim will be! Beware the Bookstore Buddhist is my advice...