I have a strange relationship with butchers.
Perhaps, calling my association a relationship is stretching things –
When I was small,
Out with my mum,
Walking the shops of Glasgow South-Side,
We would often pass the butcher.
Of course, because of Yiddishkheit, this wasn’t a place we ever entered,
Nay, we couldn’t even linger that long
for the risk of someone seeing us and translating that into a considered purchase.
(They call this ‘lashon hara’ – evil tongue; gossip.)
Yet, the smell, the saw-dust floor, soaked blood swept into the street by solid men wearing big white boots was a thing.
And, butchers, always seeming the happiest people on the high-street; always smiling, rosy cheeked, no deficiency of iron in their diet. And, revered, or, at least held in respect. The butcher, is after all several rungs above Tevye as he struggles with the milk-round.
What I don’t understand is the place butchers occupy in society. I mean, isn’t it a grim job? Cutting-up carcases, mincing, sausage-making? Picture the scene with Rocky in the abattoir – this was where he came from, not where he was heading.
Yet the butcher.
Perhaps a butcher will read this an explain the ins and outs of the job. The joy, the pleasure in weighing half a pound of mince for Mrs Ramage down the street. We think of bakers and candlestick makers – the former flighty and tired from their 3am start, the latter, having it off with the other’s wife.
A mystery. Yet, the next time you visit a butcher, you will almost always be greeted by a broad toothy smile and hello.
Say hi from me.
(OK, not all happy, well-fed and smiling…)
For our local, see here – highly recommended!