Will Milner find himself the butt of a (bad) joke once too often
After bearing the brunt of a joke too often, Will Milner cuts back the carbs and gets fit.
I’ve been inspired. Not by a sportsman or a guru. But by a door-to-door potato salesman. His accidental visit to my home was the first in a set of circumstances that has improved my diet and, in turn, kick-started a new exercise regime.
‘I’m sorry, I don’t understand. What do you want?’
‘Six Dirhams please.’
‘Why are you at my house?’
‘I’ve brought you a potato. It’s six Dirhams.’
‘Why have you brought a potato to my house and why are you asking me to give you six Dirhams?’
‘You called the shop and asked me to deliver it.’
‘I think you must have the wrong house. I didn’t call your shop. I don’t want a potato.’
That, I hoped, would be the end of that and I could go back to sitting on my couch. Thankfully for my future self it doesn’t quite end there. My visitor, it turns out, was a new deliveryman from my local grocery shop and it seems my bewilderment at the potato misunderstanding is the funniest thing that has ever happened to him. It has become a running joke now that every time I go into the store, which is the closest shop to my apartment, I am now offered potatoes.
Every. Single. Time.
Regardless of what I go into the shop for, somebody always produces a potato and the stock room empties and a variety of staff come out to have a laugh at my expense.
To begin with, it was funny. We’d all have a bit of a joke and I’d throw my hands up in mock despair at their insistence that I really did call and ask for a potato. But I know I didn’t and the joke is running a bit thin now.
Especially now they have started actually shouting out ‘potato’ and waving enthusiastically if they see me on the other side of the street. It is confusing taxi drivers and doing little for my reputation as a man of respect in the neighbourhood.
I know they’re just being friendly, but I don’t think anybody would like to be known as the Potato Man. So I’ve done what anybody would do. I’ve started using the fire exit, sneaking out of the back of the building and walking to a grocery store a few blocks away.
It is mildly inconvenient but I’m walking at least 5km more a week to get my morning milk and late night snacks. The exercise is doing me good. Put it this way – nobody has called me a couch potato for more than a week.