06 December 2012

Death-Ray Stares Get You Nowhere, Lady

Caleb is fast approaching Calypso's record
as The Most Photographed Thing in Eumundi.
And why not? He's a beautiful boy.
Now it’s a reasonable expectation, wouldn’t you think, that if you shipped your latest stock consignment two weeks earlier than normal, that it would arrive two weeks earlier than normal?  Wrong.  Apparently the ship with our stock on board is taking the scenic route, the most meandering, tortuously indirect course the captain could devise.  What is he doing, having a holiday stop over in the Seychelles?  So no, to all those people who have contacted me to ask, it isn’t here yet.  Isn’t even in Australian waters yet.  It’s infuriating and Doug keeps telling me to chill because nothing is served by being infuriated, and yeah, yeah, whatever, so I’ve toned it down to seriously cranky and that’s as chilled as I shall be over the matter.  On the up side, we should still have our new stock out before Christmas, just not as soon as I was (reasonably) planning.
He still loves his stuffed leopard toy.
So the only things new in the shop this week, and therefore new on the Website, are jewellery and pictures.  But nice things, even if I say so myself.  You’ve got to wonder why modern-day manufacturers don’t produce such stylish advertisements – if people like your ads enough to hang them on their walls surely that’s fantastic free advertising, but I’ve seen very few modern print advertisements that I would give a second glance to.  But the old French ads are beautiful and lots of people like them.  Selling them unframed in the shop has turned out to be a popular move, so it’s been worth the effort of getting them properly tagged and presented, but not as much effort as framing them, so even better.

No-one else is allowed to play with it,
even when he's asleep.

So it’s been a quiet week and I’m afraid I don’t even have any Strange Customers stories for you.  All of our customers have been perfectly nice and friendly and normal.  You start to miss the decidedly odd encounters when you don’t have them, but normal is good for the time being.  Okay, except for this one – it’s not about antiques and it wasn’t a customer, but it did occur in the shop so it counts:  a woman came in to ask me for free Immigration advice about her visa status and then turned weird and had a hissy fit when I gave her information she didn’t want to hear. 
Klaatu prefers Doug's smelly old sailing shoes.
The last time I had reliable knowledge about Australian visas was in 1997, when I was the Senior Migration Officer and Australian Vice Consul in the UK (as well as being an antiques dealer – I could multi-skill in those days).  I did tell her that it had been a long, long time since I had looked at anything official relating to immigration, but seeing how my advice was free she wanted me to tell her why the Canadian Government hadn’t put an Australian permanent residence visa in her new Canadian passport.  Can you guess why?  Could every reasonably sensible person on the planet guess why?  She did not want to accept that the Canadian Government does not have the power to issue Australian visas, and that indeed every Government that issues visas doesn’t give this power away to any other Government. 
But at least Klaatu is prepared
to share with a friend.
Can you imagine the fun various ratbag regimes could have, issuing American visas to all their ratbag friends?  Yes, there’s a reason why this doesn’t happen anywhere, anytime for anyone.  But try telling that to this woman, who went all wide-eyed and stared intently at me, totally unblinking for an unnaturally long hasn’t-blinked-yet period.  She appeared to be trying to telepathically bore into my brain and get me to change my advice (which was to contact the Australian Immigration Dept – not the Canadians - and ask what she needed to do).  And yet I am immune to Death Ray Stares, which is important for other telepathic assailants to know.  So then she tried shouting, announcing very loudly in the middle of my shop that she was Very Inconvenienced by this information.  Don’t yell at me - try yelling at the Canadian Consulate, I told her, and see where that gets you.  Hopefully arrested, I unkindly thought to myself.
New in the shop this
week: Italian sterling
silver Mermaid Pendant
But really, why would you want Immigration advice from me?  Except that I used to know stuff, and I’ll tell you for free.  And hey, I’ve got all sorts of opinions and free advice on the topic of your choice which I will give you, as long as 1) you obey me and follow said advice, and 2) you don’t yell at me when you think my advice sucks, cause it doesn’t - my counsel is always most excellent.  Now stop pushing and just form an orderly queue.
French Art Deco Rhinestone Bow Brooch
American enamel & marcasite scorpion brooch


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