On Saturday night I went to get us fish and chips for tea.

I arrived to find the place busy.

Now this is okay because it means it's either very popular or there's a busload of tiddly over 30s netballers inside on their way home from a tournament and they've just popped in to get a feed.

Sadly there were no tiddly netballers wanting to pat my bald head, sit on my lap for selfies or kiss me goodbye (I know, I know. Boyish good looks and charm are a curse) so I settled into the queue and inched my way towards the little, cheerful lady serving at the counter.


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Besides people sitting and waiting for their orders, in front of me in the queue were a young guy, about 18 texting on his cellphone, and a mum with a child in tow. And right up the front was a middle aged bloke wanting to buy a whole crayfish.

Now I'd obviously come in midway through the incident but it was fairly obvious Crayfish Man was not happy with the price so he was loudly trying to argue it down. Without success.

Anyway, in the end Crayfish Man grumpily handed over the full price, took his crayfish and there, in front of the entire shop, ripped into Little Counter Lady.

The first expletive resulted in a noticeable gasp from the audience sitting round the shop.

To her credit Little Counter Lady kept her composure but her reddening face gave away her discomfort. Particularly when the second expletive laden salvo was fired.

At this point I decided I should say something.

It's always one of those difficult things isn't it? Do you get involved or stay out of it?

If I'm honest right up 'till a few years ago I probably would've done like the vast majority of the rest of us. Not my problem, I would have convinced myself. Someone else will step in. But nobody ever did.

So I don't exactly know when it happened but these days I'm in boots and all.

So, I just said calmly. "Woah. Take it easy mate."

And Crayfish Man turned to face me. For a second I thought I might get whacked in the chops by a nice, spiny cray but luckily this guy decided against it and decided to exit, pushing past me on the way.

But that little push was nothing compared to the final foul-mouthed, personal attack he launched on Little Counter Lady as he left the shop.

Big mistake.

Little Counter Lady had had enough and went after him, reddening further with anger as she shot out the door after him.

I felt the correct thing to do was to follow. Just in case this thing got out of hand and he hit her or something equally silly happened.

I arrived just as she had opened his car door and was delivering a stunning, forceful condemnation of his behaviour – completely expletive free I might add - to his face.

His open-mouthed shock was a joy to see. I'm sure the crayfish even curled up a bit more too, such was the force of this delivery.

She ended with a request not to return to her premises and a cheeky little jab - "enjoy your crayfish" - as she closed the door for him.

With the wind completely taken from his sails, Crayfish Man had no option but to leave. And he did. At speed. Wheels screeching. Like an idiot.

And that was it. Great entertainment. The shop didn't need that telly in the corner or those out of date magazines in the waiting area. This was much better.

I was thinking just that as I drove home a short while later and I passed Crayfish Man pulled over on the side of the road. Talking to a policeman.

And another thought came to my mind.

That's going to turn out to be an expensive crayfish.

■ Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to kevin.page@nzme.co.nz .