Bag In Area

October 22, 2014

“Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area!”

You’re not wrong, machine. You are not wrong. Because there was a very unexpected item in my bagging area.

I’d nipped into Sainsburys for some potatoes for chipping and some kidney beans. That was it. It, obviously, evolved slightly to encompass something for my lunch and something for dessert, but that was all I went for.

A quick in-and-out bish bash bosh job done shop visit.

It was already slowed down by a little old lady blocking off all the little bags for the veg to go in as she tried to get a grip on one of the bags. It’s something I’ve seen before – I think, as you get older, your fingers become more and more frictionless until things like fresh produce bags are one of the greatest obstacles you’ll face.

But if it wasn’t for that delay I wouldn’t have learnt that there is a collection amongst the staff of Sainsbury’s for Sally, who is leaving, that’s being organised bu a woman who’s not doing it because she wants to, but because she has to. I can’t help but think she’ll be the one that puts a button in.

Anyway, I got my stuff and made my way to the checkout. Self checkout all the way for me so I can test my morals on whether the potatoes I bought go through as the potatoes I bought or a cheaper option. They did, incidentally, go through as the correct spuds because I chickened out of selecting the wrong thing.

So I started to scan and pack and then there it was. Unexpected item in the bagging area. Everything I had packed was expected. Nothing was unexpected. Not even the potatoes because I am not a thief. So what had happe…

… Hang on, has the woman on the machine next to me just put her handbag down in my bagging area because it’s a convenient shelf?

She bloody has you know. That’s what she’s actually done.

There isn’t an option for that. You can tell the machine you’re using your own bag, but there’s not an option to say someone else is using yhe bagging area like a shelf and generally getting in the way.

Naturally I confronted her.

“What are you doing?” I demanded of her. “This is ny bagging area. I am bagging here. I should not be finding your bag in my area. Please remove it forthwith.”

To anyone listening, that may have sounded like a tut, but it was a loud tut and really conveyed my meaning.

She moved her bag and sighed at me. Actually sighed, as though I had inconvenienced her purchase of a leotard, a packet of Walkers crisps and a shitty plastic Halloween mask with the elastic held on by staples by not allowing her the option of using my bagging area for the storage of her luggage.


DFS – Deadline Festive Season

October 21, 2014

Who are these people who treat themselves to a new sofa in time for Christmas? I’ve never met anyone who’s done it, and I’m willing to bet you haven’t either…

It always seems to be a thing – and it starts earlier and earlier each year – that you can order a sofa and it will be guaranteed to be with you in time for the feative season. I think Christmas is enough of a hassle as it is without factoring in the faff of changing out your lounge seating.

Plus, if you wanted to get a new sofa is Christmas really the best time to do it. All those nibbles – crisps, nuts and the like – being consumed by people sitting on your new couch. People who will, for example, wipe their hands on your upholstery or accidentally up-end a packet of large salted nuts, thus ensuring that your new sofa is not only greasy and covered in nut dust but that you’ll be pulling half peanuts out from behind the cushions for months to come.

But it definitely seems to be a thing – something as important to the Christmas experience as the advert with the Coca Cola truck or cold turkey and bread sauce.

Order now and get it in time for Christmas, they cry, as though a two month delivery time is acceptable. I mean, I know things like this exist because ever sofa is hand-made and all that jazz but boasting about something like that seems a little bit odd. It’s hardly a next day service.


An Ode To The Sick Kid On Da Bus

October 20, 2014

I have been to prison,
So I am really cool
That’s why I’m riding on a bus
And acting like a fool.

With fucking this and fucking that
I’ll tell a tale for you
Flapping my arms all over the place
Is what I like to do.

A story of how I was in a car
That was driving at great speed
We had a crash and my spliff flew out,
Aww man, I’ve lost my weed.

I did some coke as well, you hear
I was, like, totally buzzin’
I snogged a girl and shagged one too
It probably was my cousin.

Listen though as I talk street
It’s a sign that I’m legit
Bro, ya get me, stuff like that,
I’m a noisy little git.

Ya hear me though, with these sick tales
I swear down that it’s true
And that’s why I’m on this bus
Annoying the shit out of you.


Flapknapping

October 19, 2014

We came dangerously close to acquiring another cat today.

Not in a “someone is trying to find homes for sone kittens” way. It was definitely more of a “if it spends any longer outside our catflap I think we legally own it” kind of way.

And you know that’s what is unfolding when you find your girlfriend depositing a handful of cat biscuits on the back doorstep – via the cat flap, I might add – as a means of befriending this cat.

And we did befriend a cat.

It was our cat, but she did seem happy to be having an outside dining experience. How very European and cosmopolitan, she was probably thinking as she ate the biscuits al fresco.

Fricking cat biscuits, I was thinking as I stood on them with bare feet a few hours later. They’re up there with Lego bricks and plugs as things you really don’t want to stand on. There’s sonething about a cat biscuit that makes them both an edible treat and an effective caltrop – how many foods can boast that?

The cat we tried to steal – befriend – hasn’t really been back since. Carole saw it earlier, running across the garden, shortly before Peppa ran across after it with that double-wuick march she has that means she has business, usually secret and best if you never ask about it.

It’s unclear whether she was chasing it away or asking it to hang around because then she could eat outside again.

I suspect it’s the food thing. She’s that sort of cat.


Deliver Us

October 18, 2014

One of the things I enjoy the most about having the shopping delivered is the fact that we have the shopping delivered. The fact that I don’t have to set foot in a supermarket, and yet things magically appear in the cupboards is a brilliant, brilliant thing.

I mean, yes, there are the downsides. Like the substitutions and the fact that where you would pick over the packets of meat to find the one that looks the most appetising, the grocery gremlins just give you the first one that comes to hand. But other than that it’s an awesome service.

Especially when it comes an hour early.

I mean, that’s pretty bloody good. There was me sitting and waiting for the shop to arrive, still having over an hour to go before the start of the delivery slot when I get a phone call from the driver to say that he’d just delivered round the corner and would it be ok if he delivered to us next.

I thought about saying no because, after all, if you start playing with things like delivery times, the next thing you know the country is in the grip of anarchy and there’s rioting on the streets, civilisation collapsing and all sorts. And while everyone has a contingency plan for what would happen in a zombie apocalypse, no-one really has one for the collapse of society brought about by a flagrant disregard for the sanctity of booked delivery times.

But I didn’t. I said yes. Well, I said, yeah, why the hell not. As though I was some kind of maverick, playing fast and loose with convention and willing to take a ride of the train of deviation that the driver was currently gunning full speed along the rails.

Because that’s the kind of guy I am. I like to take risks. That’s why I shop online – because every item you order is a risk. It’s a risk you’re going to get sonething that only closely resembles what you ordered. Or a pack of frozen sausages instead of cooking chocolate.

So when your shopping turns up and hour early and there’s no substitutions… well, it’s like winning the lottery but without any of the money,needy relatives and being able to give up your job.


Driven To Dis-track-tion

October 17, 2014

Buses and tinny music blasted out of phone speakers.

They go hand-in-hand really, don’t they? Like Hansel and Gretel, Mel and Sue, FIsh and Chips, Ant and Dec and whatever other double acts I can think of.

Invariably when you’re on a bus – not so much on trains, because they have the “I’M ON A TRAIN!” phone wankers – you will have to listen to someone else’s music. And, as most other people’s music is, it’s shite. Because that’s the thing about other people’s music, isn’t it. It’s never the sort of music you’d listen to. It’s never a song you like, or a bangin’ anthem as kids today probably don’t say. It’s always shit. Like there’s a special genre of music – in and amongst your dubstep, house, r’n’b, garage, grime and whatever other word has been applied to something to signify the type of noise you can expect there’s this special stuff that’s only ever played by people on buses.

The bus I catch to and from work is, more or less, a music free zone. Occasionally, on the way home, youths will board the bus at the White Rose Centre and they’ll enjoy listening to the first fifteen seconds of every song on their telephonic music carrier, but for the most part it’s just people breaking up with other people, people who think they’re God’s gift to women and general innocuous nobheads, and me.

This morning, however, on the approach to Leeds, the music started. It came out of nowhere and it was ridiculously loud. I did the thing you always do when music starts on a bus, I looked around with a tut lined up to be unleashed once I’d located the culprit. A woman on the opposite side of the bus was messing with her phone, and she had a headphone lead plugged in. I wondered if she’d not pushed it all the way in and instead of blasting into her eardrums and giving her tinnitus, the music was just pouring out into the bus like the waters from that dyke before the little Dutch boy stuck his finger in.

But it wasn’t her.

And then I reasoned it must be coming from upstairs. But if it was then it was really bloody loud and I was glad I was not sitting up there. I don’t get up at 6 o’clock in the morning to get a mobile disco to work, for goodness sake. I like to read my book and nod off just as we get to Batley. I have a routine. It can’t be disturbed by some DJ wannabe upstairs.

But it wasn’t upstairs.

As I tinged the bell and got up to debus (in direct contravention of the bus instructions which state clearly that I am to remain seated until the bus comes to a stop, but I know from experience that if you ring the bell and don’t get up the bus will not stop as they will assume that the bell has been rung by a ne’er-do-well or rapscallion for a jape), I noticed that the music was getting louder towards the front of the bus.

It was the bloody driver.

The one person on the bus who is there to speak up about the tinny music, and there he was, blasting out tinny music for everyone to share in.

Bastard.


Sugar Snap

October 16, 2014

There’s another radio advert that’s slightly getting my goat as well. It’s one of the nannying adverts that encourage you to do more and eat less and be generally healthier while you sit around and listen to the radio.

In this particular advert, they encourage us – the listeners – to be sugar smart.

Part of being sugar smart is simply being aware that things have sugar in them. That’s the first thing. The advert does explain that different foods contain different levels of sugar, however, so you’re not quite ready to be entirely free thinking just yet. In fact, the woman with a slightly child-like voice is quite enthusiastic about the possibilities of swapping sugary snacks for fruit, or just snacks with less sugar in them. Preferably the fruit though. You know, because it’s fruit.

And then, once she knows she’s got you, she hits you with the real zinger. The statement that makes you glad that you’re not up and being active because the facts you’re about to be struck with could literally bowl you over, knock your socks off or leave you too stunned to continue with your day.

Sugar drinks, she says, can be made healthier by swapping them for ones with no sugar in them.

That’s an actual thing that you – as a grown-up radio listener – are told., You who just scant hours ago managed to dress yourself with no incident and who can possibly drive a car, operate heavy machinery, cross roads and countless other things which require some level of common sense, have to be told that you can have less sugary drinks by drinking drinks with less sugar in them.

It makes me want to turn to the radio and shout “What is this witchcraft?!?” but by that time, when I’ve come out of my stunned silence, Paul Whitehouse is doing another funny voice to advertise insurance…. “finely chop two cloves of garlic… oh is that a clove or a bulb, love?” It’s a chuffing clove… you just said it, you pathetic man. And breathe.

Maybe I shouldn’t listen to radio adverts, Maybe I should go back to the wonders of Radio 4 and start getting angry about You and Yours, The Today Programme or Woman’s Hour.


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