It was obvious when she walked into the room, Mrs Tinge knew it. However a palpatory exploration was always needed. “Please take off your blouse and your bra, I need to examine you.”
After an hour or two Mrs Tinge exclaimed “I have good news and bad news.” “Oh, no, I've got breast cancer, have I?” “No, no, Mrs Large, no, I did not find any lumps. Let me explain.”
“You have wonderfully large lovelies, very good. And I can help you. However they are rather large, more than two kilos – that's more than four pounds each – and I would like to make some suggestions.”
“Your lovelies are heavy and they're pulling you forwards. You are stooping. You are not holding yourself upright. You suffer from back pain and neck ache, don't you?”
“Yes, you're right.”
“I could see that when you first entered the room. Your bra does not help much. It's too small, that's obvious too. It's the biggest size you can buy with normal width straps – you did not want to wear a battleaxe brassière did you? But it's too small, the straps are too narrow, that's why you've got red marks on your shoulders. Am I right, Mrs Large?”
“Yes.” she sighed.
Mrs Tinge went to the back of the fitting room, opened a drawer and pulled out something. “What's this?” She held it up for Mrs Large to look at. “It's something that was used in the Battle of Verdun?”
“Not quite. It's a really ugly full-support bra in an awful shade of dirty pink, some of my older customers like to wear this sort of thing. But look at it carefully: wide straps, extra support, padded where need be. It's got everything that you need, however I do understand that you find it absolutely horrible. Am I right, Mrs Large?”
“Yes.” she sighed.
“It's not the end of the world. Look at this!” Mrs Tinge held up another large bra. “It looks good doesn't it? It's white with hand-painted wild flowers. Quite pretty really. But look at it closely, it has all the support that the ugly pink one has, however it has been made with style and not in an armaments factory. What do you think? Try it on!”
“Ooh, I like that. Will it prevent my breasts sagging? I don't want that to happen.”
Mrs Tinge adjusted the straps. “Yes and no. Wearing a bra reduces sagging, but can't prevent it completely, unfortunately there are no muscles in our lovelies. Another suggestion...”
Mrs Tinge paused. “Why don't you visit my friend, Doctor Splain. He knows all about reducing the size of your lovelies. I do think that would be a good idea. And afterwards I can fit you with a new bra. My friend Vera will paint the flowers of your choice on it and you will look grand.”