I had to get up at stupid o’clock this morning so that I could go to the dentist. It’s been a while since I consciously knew that 6am existed but, this morning, there it was grinning at me and slapping me around the face. This was helped by the fact that my body, knowing I needed to be up at six so I could be ready sorted and out of the house for half seven (and not get in Carole’s way) decided that it would wake me up at five, let me believe that I could fall back to sleep and then allow me the pleasure of lying there vaguely aware that I wasn’t asleep. Until 5.58 am, when I thought it must be about half past and I had plenty of lying time left. And then the alarm went off.
As you always do when you have a dentist appointment, I made a special extra effort with the teeth brushing. It’s as though you get it in your head that one massive brushing session can brush away any slapdash attempts you may have made in the past six months. Any times you haven’t brushed for long or for very well are erased this very day because you brushed for longer or twice or did something you don’t normally do. I brushed for ages. When the dentist examined me he, quite sarcastically, said “It looks like you’ve inflammed your gums a litte from too much brushing today, but if you brush like that for the next week or so they’ll be absolutely fine.” He then cleaned and polished my teeth and said “there’s one or two bleeding areas but that’s nothing to worry about” and encouraged me to rinse and spit. Seriously. I’d have seen less blood if I’d hacked my own leg off. But it’s nothing to worry about. And I didn’t even get a cup of tea and a biscuit.
While I was waiting to be seen the TV in the waiting room was showing GMTV. They were proudly announcing that, this very morning, they would be interviewing Elmo from Sesame Steet. Seriously. There was a picture of him and everything. I didn’t dream it. An interview with Elmo – maybe getting his reactions to the World Cup, asking if he’d like to be the next England manager or, maybe, why he likes to be tickled so much. Elmo was a guest on GMTV. Watching it this morning, as I filled out my medical questionaire (pregnant? morning sickness? etc) I realised that with cutting edge guests like that it’s quite understandable how Christine Bleakley couldn’t resist the offer they made. I hope they interview Big Bird one week. Or maybe that pinball table from the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 song. You know the one. Yeah, you’re singing it now.
This evening, while Carole swung by her parental abode to say hi to her visiting brother I was deposited on the doorstep of the store with a short list and told, in no uncertain terms, to take my time.
Having spent a little time in the DVD and games aisle I decided to crack on with my shopping and picked up some milk. Now, apparently, I’m incapable of choosing suitable milk as, a little later on while I was trying to take a sneaky photo of some humourously named product or other an older Asian woman approached me, said something and pointed. As I was, at this juncture, effectively blocking all access to the tomato ketchup and because the woman was also on the phone at the time I assumed she was angling to get some tomatoey goodness in a squeezy bottle. So I moved. She pointed at my trolley and said something again. I looked at her with my best “huh?” face on and she pointed again and said “your milk is leaking”. She wasn’t wrong. Where I had been standing it looked like I’d been slowly lactating onto the supermarket floor. Staying calm and collected and sticking to the wise words of that famous saying, I thanked her for her concern as to my dairy well-being and, with no tears, and I swiftly swapped the faulty milk, giving the replacement bottle a hearty squeeze to check that it was a sealed unit and continued on my shoppingy way.
And then I remembered that I was trying to take a photo when I was interupted by leakage and so I headed back to the scene of the crime, handily marked out by the small milk puddle. I’ve now adopted this approach when we go to the supermarket. Things amuse me and I feel that i need to take a picture. There was cock flavoured soup, and there was gorilla munch breakfast cereal on sale in Tescos once. Today, in my first picture, I spotted some Bullox. It tickled me, if nothing else.
Towards the end of the shop I spied this, and figured that I shouldn’t really shop on my own as this sounded for all the world like some kind of sex cheese. It’s like porno for mice.
As I made my way towards the checkout I overheard the tail end of a team leader briefing explaining the concepts of red and yellow cards for staff. I find that nothing motivates people more than some kind of themed disciplinary system based on current events. Should members of staff get a yellow card and then a red card they have to explain why they consider themselves to be more important that the customers. I often find that a busy supermarket floor is the best, and most professional place to have discussions like this. Yellow card, I think.
And then the checkout. Where I was served by Father Time. Having ignored the advice of the woman enthusiastically waving the “Space Hear” pointing finger sign thing I headed for a till that looked empty. This was a mistake, and one which I really struggled to deal with. When people say “I was biting my lip” I know how they feel. I was holding back sustained hysterics for quite some time. Quite some time. When my turn to be served came, I was asked if I wanted bags. I did want bags. I’m sorry. I’m a bad bad man. We have bags for life. They will spend a life in our cupboards as we tend to forget we have bags for life. I just opted for bags for now. I then had to watch a man fight with the plastic bags to try and seperate some from the massive stack hanging on a hook behind his chair. He was pulling and puffing and panting. It was a lot like the wolf trying to blow down the little pig’s brick house, except this was a man in a supermarket uniform and the house was, in fact, bags.
Eventually the bags parted company with the others and he, rather exhaustedly, asked if I could manage to open them myself. I told him not to worry as I was sure I would cope and set to opening a few bags ready for my goods to fly down the ramp. Usually supermarket checkout staff have a habit of being a bit bloody fast. Stuff comes flying at you from every direction and it’s quite tricky to keep up with them and pack your bags. This wasn’t the case tonight. It was agonisingly slow. Until the end. He spend up on the bottles of things, possibly aided by gravity, probably because he would be free after me to just sit and regain the strength he used trying to get the bags off in the first place.