Being an adult and moderately shameless, I haven't felt embarrassed in a shop for years. I could quite merrily barge into a particularly eclectic retail emporium and request sex toys, hardcore pornography and a Richard Clayderman LP without a second's hesitation. Yesterday, however, I came as close to being abashed as I've ever been.
The record-cleaning fluid that came with my Knosti Disco-Antistat (see Cheeseford passim) is getting a bit dirty, as you might expect. However, I resent paying £15 for a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, de-ionised water and washing-up liquid. So, I did the rounds of Lowestoft's pharmacies, asking whether they sold isopropyl alcohol. A couple said they could order it, but one responded to my query with a very firm "no". Unless I'm very much mistaken, from the steely look in her eye, the woman behind the counter wanted to add "I know your type and it disgusts me". I did think of adding cheerfully that it was for cleaning records and tape heads, but I thought that would only make matters worse.
I slunk off and thought I'd try Superdrug before I gave up. There the pharmacist was unable to oblige with the goods, but incredibly helpful. He asked if it was for record cleaning, and explained that if he stocked it, he'd have to have flame-retardent cabinets all over the place. He also seemed to recall that he'd seen it in B&Q once. No joy there, either, so I ended up ordering it on eBay. Make mine a large one.