A lady goes into a supermarket-it’s one of the German discount stores that have sprung up everywhere. She is obviously in a hurry.
She pauses at the door, realises she has no coins for the supermarket trolley and grabs a wheely shopping basket instead. It is a fatal error of judgement.
She rushes around the store throwing things into the basket. There is something trance like about her movements. You can see she has done this a million times before.
Having completed a whirlwind tour of the fruit and veg aisle, the chilled produce and the dried goods, she pauses at the wine aisle and chooses a bottle of white. The bottle of white is a reward, no doubt.
Shopping mission accomplished, she get into the queue and unloads the contents of her basket onto the conveyor belt. She then engages in a marathon race with the till attendant (who for present purposes we’ll refer to as Speedy) to repack her shopping, before he totals up the bill. He moves onto the next customer before she has had a chance to finish what she is doing.
She has brought two plastic bags with her. They are not big enough, so she piles some stuff back into the wheely basket. She pays Speedy and makes her way out of the shop.
She is near the exit when Speedy shouts after her.
‘Hey- you can’t take that basket out of the shop.’ He has a loud voice. Everyone turns and looks at her.
‘So it’s not OK to bring the basket outside for a few minutes and then bring it in again?’ she says, looking hard at him.
It’s not an unreasonable request. It would, however, require a certain amount of rule bending on the part of Speedy to agree to this.
‘No, you can’t take the wheely basket outside,’ he says spiritedly.
Someone in the queue next to Speedy says to him, ‘Go on, be nice!’ Speedy ignores her. He is not going to be nice.
Our unfortunate shopper attempts to manoeuvre her stuff into a nearby corner. As she does so, her basket topples over, spilling all her groceries onto the floor. She really should have got a trolley. She feels pretty stupid.
A young man leaps to her assistance. He is a customer, not a store employee.
‘This happens to me too,’ he says as he picks up her toilet rolls. ‘ALL THE TIME’
She guesses that this has never actually happened to him before. He’s just being nice.
His mother should be very proud of him, she thinks.
She leaves her shopping basket and carries out her two bags. Emptying the contents onto the back seat, she goes back in and retrieves the rest of her shopping from the wheely basket.
Her two teens are waiting for her in the car. She tells them what happened. They are outraged on her behalf. Girl teen launches into a rant about how she would have just walked out- regardless of what Speedy said.
It is a rant about authority, something which girl teen has problems with at the moment.
Boy teen takes her phone, and by some magic known only to the young, transfers one of her favourite songs onto the car speaker.
She wipes away a tear from her eye and pulls off to the sounds of Manu Chao singing;
‘I’M THE KING OF BONGO’ very loudly.
As she makes her way home to unpack her shopping a thought crosses her mind which brings a smile to her face.
This is something I can blog about….