Creative Comedy Project

How much for your turban? By Jaskirat Thethy

I am standing outside a busy central London pub by the benches while a group of friends have gone inside to order drinks. I needlessly look at my phone for a moment to give the people around me the impression that I’m waiting for someone. It’s awkward to stand around without purpose, outside a pub, trying hard to look at nothing in particular.

Amidst the general pub hum…

A random man wearing a trilby, approx. late 30s, sitting on the pub bench with a friend: “That’s a pretty spectacular bollard, right?”

I laugh. “Ha. Yup. Tottenham Court Road is known for its fascinatingly ornate bollards…”

Random: What are you up to? Come and join us.

Me: I’m waiting for some mates. They’re getting drinks.”

I sit down at their bench

Random: Paul. This is my mate Greg.

We shake hands. He has a firm shake on him.

Me: I’m Jaz. Nice to meet you both.

Paul: So Jaz, where you from?

(Internally sighing, but outwardly composed) Me: I’m British. I’ve grown up and studied here but you can see that ethnically, I am Indian, specifically, Punjabi.

My prejudice causes me to assume that because Paul is white, he’ll just be English. I don’t question it. Bad immigrant. Tut tut.

Paul: That’s great. I’m a huge fan of South Asian cultures. I travelled around Burma and India for eighteen months a couple of years ago. I even visited the famous temple in Amstirar (sic).

Me: Amritsar. Yeah, the ‘Golden Temple’…

Paul: Ah, it was beautiful. So peaceful, and the women were beautiful. So… I’m actually quite a big fan of hats - I really like the way you wrap yours around your head.”

Greg slowly looks away, embarrassed.

Me: Haha. Thanks. So, it’s not really a hat to me, actually… It’s considered to be a crown for a Sikh.”

Paul: Ah right. Well, I’m a big collector of hats and like I said, I love the way yours looks! If you don’t mind me asking… how could I get one? Could I buy yours?

I laugh… and before I’ve managed to say anything…

Paul: Gimmie a price. 100 quid - right now?

Greg raises his eyebrows so harshly the creases on his forehead reveal his Klingon genes.

Me: Haha. Nah, look, I’m not selling it to you.

Greg looks at his phone...

Me: What if you pay me and I’ll take you to a fabric shop and buy you the material needed for a turban?

Paul: You’re a clever man. But I’d like to buy your turban now. I’m prepared to pay! You sure you don’t want to sell? It looks fantastic, honestly.

Me: Mate, it’s not for sale…

Paul: Three hundred pounds?

Me: No. But you can pay me three hundred quid and I’ll go with you to a fabric shop…

Paul: Hahah. You’re mad - It’s only a hat! Forget it.

Paul downs his drink and gets up.

Paul: Enjoy your evening, mate.

Paul walks away and Greg follows.

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