- Tell them to get a room at a hotel (one that allows children!)
- Tut loudly
- Do nothing (and plug my earphones in)… far too sensible, that one!
- Hit them. Lots.
- Start singing. Perhaps a song such as "it started with a kiss…" by Hot Chocolate. I wonder, is there a song called "f*** off and do that somewhere else before I strangle you with my scarf and bury you both in a plant pot!!"
- Find the nearest supermarket, buy a can of beans, scoff the lot and… well, you can probably guess the rest…
- Take photographs, threaten to tell their parents and then blackmail them for everything they've got (£2.43 in pocket money and half a packet of Chewits)
- mis-spelled words
- txt speak... E.G: "b4 u go out l8r dont 4get 2 put ur shoes on"
- words that have been changed by the 'predictive text' on the sender's phone
I chanced upon a website a few days ago called I Found Money Today. Owned by George Resch, the website is dedicated to his social experiment in anonymous giving. The premise is simple: he leaves small amounts of money in public places with the idea that someone will find the money. He has no control over who finds it or what they do with it. However, just by initiating this random act of kindness he makes a difference to the lives of other people - changing their mood, giving them a spike of emotion and maybe providing them with a sense that they’re not alone in the world. I think we can be sure that through his social experiments he has affected a number of people in a positive way, and who knows what might have happened as a result of that. It’s not just about George either, through his blog he has inspired other people to try it.
As part of my fabulous life (something I count myself as fortunate for having) I like to engage in random acts of kindness. From simple things like leaving a Creme Egg in a lift at Easter to giving away bunches of flowers to random strangers, these acts always give me a sense of belonging. Having visited George’s website, I decided that I wanted to have a go of my own at anonymously leaving some money. So I did…
I spent last night brainstorming my plan. Rather than leaving a note hanging to a tree or attached to a building, I wanted to try something a little different. So I built a boat. Do you want to see it? Of course you do. Here it is…
Lovely isn’t it? Even though I say so myself. On the side of the boat I wrote ‘soy tuya’ which, for those of you who don’t know Spanish, means “I’m yours.” I considered it a nicer message than “up yours.” Attached to the boat was a 100 Peso note (roughly about £5) and, for artistic effect, I crafted a sail out of a (non-used) cotton bud and some paper. So what was my plan for my little boat of money (HMS Ally)? Well my idea was to take it to the shopping village next door and place it in the water fountain in the middle of the main square. There it could be chanced upon by literally anyone. Although, saying that, the odds were slightly in favour of those people living in Mexico. It was highly unlikely that an eskimo would be finding it, for example.
This morning I set about constructing my boat. Everything went smoothly and as I finished attaching the sail I sat back to admire my creation. Just a quick photograph and I’d be ready to go… or so I thought…
I took the boat outside to photograph it next to the pool. The first photograph was good. But as I moved in to get another, a gust of wind hit the sail and sent the boat catapulting into the water in a scene slightly reminiscent of The Perfect Storm. It was a disaster. A maritime disaster.
After rescuing the money from the boat, and discarding the wet shipwreck into the bin, I grabbed another sheet of paper and began to build HMS Ally II. Once again I attached a sail and fastened my (now dry) note to the mast. All was good - my boat was in ship shape and ready to go. There was just time to get some photos by the pool, this time holding on to the boat. Here is the masterpiece…
and from the other side…
Boat in hand, I made my way to the shopping village with my friend Christian. Sitting down, we scoped out the location. As we did so, we noticed a security guard keeping a watchful gaze. Timing would be crucial in this attempt. As the security guard moved from his position, it was ‘go for launch.’ I went for it…
The attempt was successful. HMS Ally II was afloat. It was time to retreat and leave my little boat to float on until some unsuspecting passer by saw it and took their opportunity. As I looked back, only the sail was visible…
So who ended up with the money? Well who knows? My only hope is that whoever picked it out of the water ended up with a smile on their face as well as 100 Pesos in their pocket. One thing’s for sure - by George, it was fun.
I thought I was being clever when I visited my local supermarket at midnight on Friday. With snowy weather forecast, everyone in the entire country was hitting the supermarket during the daylight hours to pack their house, garage and garden shed full of bread, milk and carpet shampoo. So, to compensate for this, and to ensure that I didn’t go without clean carpets, I decided to make a quick stop to my local Tesco on my way back from a night out on Friday. It was shrewd thinking - the supermarket would be empty and I could get in and out of the store really quickly. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, tiredness and hunger meant my decisions were slightly skewed. I managed to buy Easter eggs for the entire street, enough cereal to feed a small African village, 24 bags of of cat litter (I have no cat) and 15 boxes of tampons thanks to a special offer that I just couldn’t find the energy to turn down. So, ladies, if it’s that time of the month, you’ve got a cat with mild bladder weakness and you like cereal, mine’s the place to be…
Note: Please let me vacate my flat before you arrive, as I can’t bear to argue with you over which Easter egg you want most…
Today, I have decided to work from Costa; as a break from being at home. I’ve got my coffee, I’ve got my sandwich and I’ve got my berry muffin. Unfortunately for me, I’ve also “got” a teenage couple sitting on the table next to me. These two teenagers have clearly just discovered the delights of kissing (they’re sitting there sucking each other’s faces off). Now, anyone normal would find a corner somewhere to engage in this private and newly-exciting activity. But, no, they’re literally sitting right in the middle of Costa.
I could move all my stuff (laptop, jacket, bag, coffee, sandwich) onto another table nearby. But, instead, I’m going to sit here, moan lots and think up some mischievous ideas for what to do next. I could:
Maybe I’m just jealous. Do you think I’m jealous? When I was a teenager, I was just happy for a girl to notice me (usually followed by a face of disgust or a comment of “why are you standing outside the girls' changing rooms?"). I’m not bitter… ;)
Oh crap. I’ve just noticed. I’m looking around at the other tables in here and EVERYONE is a teenager. I’ve accidentally walked into the local puberty asylum. There’s only one thing for it, I’m going to have to put on some tracksuit bottoms, spray myself with 13 cans of Lynx deodorant and don a baseball cap.
You know what, I’m going to be a bit nicer to this couple. I mean, we were all young once. I haven’t eaten my muffin yet, so I could give them that… in small pieces… projected with velocity at their faces!! No, you know what, I’ll go and buy them a present… do they sell Chlamydia Test gift tokens in Boots? ;-)
Whether you love it or hate it, texting has become a major part of our daily lives. From keeping in touch with our friends to competitions and promotional offers on television and radio, these days we struggle to be away from our mobile phones for any length of time.
I saw a classic example of the promotional use of texting today whilst watching daytime television. A quiz was sponsored by a de-congestant and they were enticing people to find out more information by texting the word “mucus” to them. Lovely! What next?…
Latest offer: Win a pair of underpants. Simply text the words "I've soiled myself and my spare pair are in the washing machine" to 63352
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had numerous discussions with friends about frustrating text message conversations. Based upon those stories, I thought I’d write a post listing some typically frustrating types of text chat. You’ve probably been involved in some of the following types of conversation before:
Textual HarassmentThis label applies to those people who bombard us with text messages. I'm sure you've been in the situation before where you finish writing a text message, hit send and a reply arrives back on your phone before you've even had the chance to put it down and take a sip of your tea. By replying, you're signing a mini-contract to waste the best part of your day engaging the other person in pointless chatter. What a waste of bloody time!
Textual harrassers will, invariably, end up becoming stalkers and/or participants in late-night radio phone-ins.
Textual DysfunctionTexts arrive on your phone but don't make sense. Why? Because they are full of:
Beware of number 3. A casual phrase, such as this one describing your dinner preparations:
“I have topped off the plate with some peas”
can easily become:
“I have tossed off the slave with some pear”
Now, you’d think that people would read a message through before sending it. But, no. People suffering with textual dysfunction are busy using their single brain cell for another use (breathing, probably) and so have no available capacity do this. As a consequence, you spend half an hour deciphering the message. Text conversations with textual dysfunction sufferers are a constant frustration.
Premature Text EjaculationThis occurs when someone gets half way through writing a message and then accidentally pushes the send butt…
Textual FrustrationYou send an important text message requiring a quick response and stare longingly at your mobile phone - waiting for a reply to come back - for days on end. Nothing. Has the message arrived on the recipient's phone? Should you send it again? Perhaps they have replied, but it didn't send properly. One thing's for sure, you can't possibly pick up the phone and call them (that's far too sensible) so you'll have to just sit there and get frustrated until you end up throwing your phone at the wall (and missing, with your prized iPhone smashing straight through your 54 inch plasma television). Now you're even more cross...
Tosser... I'll never speak to him ag... ah, what's that bleeping sound coming from inside the television?
Those who engage in textual harassment tend to regularly suffer from textual frustration… usually within about 5 seconds of sending their message.
Rebound TextThis occurs when you dump your existing phone, after becoming bored with the features, and get a new model, with a new number. You must immediately send out the obligatory message to your entire contact list (3 people) to make them aware of your new number.
Textual DepravityThis label can be given to those people who regularly indulge in sending rude and tasteless jokes.
We all like a funny joke or two. However, there are some people who not only text jokes around to their entire address book, but also consider themselves to be the King/Queen of party entertainment. They pull their phone out of their pocket at gatherings and recite their entire list of jokes to everyone in the room. They chortle loudly at their own jokes, thinking they’re funny. However, everyone just thinks they’re a tosser.
Textual TensionThis label is for a text conversation where, due to the fact that text lacks emotion, something is misread and interpreted the wrong way, leading to a fight. Your sarcastic message to your other half telling him/her "thanks for cooking me dinner tonight, I wish I could say it was delicious..." may well receive the reply of "well, f*ck off then, you can cook next time..." This mistake is an expensive one, usually requiring flowers, chocolates and plenty of grovelling (in person and in text)...
To Conclude:Far from being joyous, texting can be an inconvenient and frustrating pain in the arse. It's time to take a good look at yourself. Do you fall into one of these categories? If so, keep it to your bloody self!!! ;)
A list of the most stressful experiences that anyone can go through in their lifetime will include events such as the death of a family member, divorce and moving house. I think that supermarket self-checkouts should be added to that list…
When approaching the checkouts with your three items of shopping, there are usually two choices open to you. You can queue up behind the hoards of families putting their monthly food shop through the tills of the spotty trainees or you can risk your mental health by using the self-service checkout systems. The world of personal shopping really has gone out of the window, to be replaced by a form of torture only previously seen on bad Japanese game shows. Still, it can’t really be that bad…. can it?
A few days ago, I gave the self-checkout a try. My first challenge came with deciding where to queue. There were three rows of checkouts and other customers seemed as perplexed as me about choosing which queue to join. They were all milling around looking like they were mentally building complicated mathematical algorithms to decide where to go. I found myself joining in with this pointless exercise…
“Should I opt for the queue with the fewest people or should I also take into consideration the number of items in the basket of each shopper in each queue? In addition, should I factor in the likely intelligence of the people in the queues?”
There was one certainty with all this - whichever queue I chose would be the wrong one. Sure enough, I got stuck behind a lady who couldn’t find the barcode on her packet of Ryvita, a teenager who needed to individually select 15 different flavours of muffin using the on-screen interactions, an old lady who spent 5 minutes sorting through her over-large collection of plastic loyalty cards and, finally, an elderly man who delayed one-second too long in putting an item into his ‘bag for life,’ setting all the alarm bells off. At that moment I was so filled with rage that I wanted to strangle him (rendering his ‘bag for life’ useless forever after)
When I finally arrived at the self-checkout machine, frustration turned to stress. I suddenly felt all self-conscious that it was my turn and realised that everyone in the queue behind me was watching me, waiting for me to do something stupid and forming opinions based upon the combination of items in my basket. I really should have given it more thought before proceeding through the self-checkouts with condoms, lube and an extra-large cucumber…
It was then that I wished I’d taken my items and hidden them under a loaf of bread on one of the conveyor belt checkouts. I tried to scan the items quickly and, inevitably, set the flashing lights and alarms off. In my mind, I could hear an announcement being made over the supermarket tannoy system:
Security announcement: unexpected contraception has been found in the bagging area… and he's got an extra-large cucumber too, what's he going to do with that?
Locked out from the system, I felt completely helpless. I looked around desperately for assistance and a lady in uniform came to help me (no, not the police). She scanned her card through the system, gave me a look as if to say “can’t you do anything right?” and then told me to carry on. In the meantime, I could hear the people queueing behind me tutting, huffing and whistling to themselves (it could well have been to the tune of ‘Right Here Waiting For You,’ I was too busy panicking to be able to tell). Sweating profusely, I paid, grabbed my bags and beat a hasty retreat.
What an ordeal! If I’d wanted to spend my precious time scanning shopping, I’d have applied for a job as a (non-spotty) checkout operator. It’s not service, it’s not quick and it’s certainly not personal - I don’t even get the benefit of having a pointless conversation with a miserable checkout operator. Quite simply, it’s me working for the supermarket and not being paid for it. There’s no fun or benefit to me in that.
Well, it was inevitable. Your partner bought you cake and chocolates for your birthday and now they’re showing on your waist. You looked in the mirror today and your self-esteem dropped through the floor. Thank goodness your home was built well, otherwise you might have plummeted through the floor with it. With the weather being so cold outside, the idea of a run seems about as enviable as a night in doing your tax return. There’s only one thing for it - you’re going to have to make a visit to the gym…
Prising yourself out of the warmth of your home, and wearing your most fashionable leotard, you head along to the local fitness centre - Waist Management.
After paying your entrance fee, you squeeze through the turnstiles and are greeted with a plethora of torture devices. It’s decision time; should you try the rowing machine, the cross-trainer or the treadmill?
As if things aren’t already uncomfortable enough for you, in your over-tight leotard, you’ve just spotted someone that you know and, inevitably, hate. It’s your work colleague, Hal (surname: Itosis), a man with a mouth so gargantuan that he could use a broom to brush his teeth. He enjoys winding you up with his sarcastic comments (whilst wafting a mixture of marmite and espresso breath past your nostrils). The annoying shit is leaning on the water machine trying to pretend he’s Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’ll no doubt take pleasure in watching you prance up and down on a cross-trainer looking like the back half of a pantomime cow.
Whilst thoughts of dread echo through your mind, one of the cross-trainers becomes free, as the man drags himself off and crawls away towards the water machine. He’s left behind a present for you - his sweat; all over the machine.
After dragging the entire contents of the paper towel dispenser across the room, tripping up several people in the process, you dry the cross-trainer, clamber on and start your exercising. You set the machine to level 1 difficulty so that you can move really fast and look far more impressively fit than you are. Instead of looking at you, everyone will be looking at the guy to your left, Jim, who is struggling on level 10 (whilst listening to ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ from the Rocky film). You’ve nicknamed him Jim because of his uncanny resemblance to Jimmy Saville.
A few minutes later…
After three minutes on the cross-trainer, you’re beginning to feel bored. No-one is sharing conversation (so much for the gym being a social thing). Instead, everyone around you is wearing earphones; plugged into their music mix of Lady GaGa, Bon Jovi and the Village People. In need of something to break the tedium, you stare at the television that sits bolted to the wall at the front of the room. It’s showing music videos. Well, they’re supposed to be music videos. They actually seem to be a mixture of nudity, sadomasochism and debauchery… with lyrics that you can’t actually hear.
Ten minutes more hard work go by…
You’re kicking up quite a sweat. The realisation then hits you that you’ve been in a trance for the last five minutes - unable to drag your eyes from the hypnotic movement of the female walrus on the running machine in front. Determined not to focus on her repetitive buttock movement (RBM), you look back up at the television screen. The music channel has taken a commercial break and the television is now taunting you with an advert for fish and chips. Wow, that looks good…
There must be some consolation for this continued torture - the exercise must be doing you good. You’ve probably burned off enough calories for…. fish and chips. You look down at your screen for some statistics and it’s only too willing to show you - you’ve been exercising for 15 minutes, you’ve burned off 100 calories and your heart rate is…. it’s not showing. It was showing a minute ago, but now it’s not. That’s it then - you’re dead. You decide to warn Jim on the machine next to you that he may need to call an ambulance. He’s still got his headphones in, so you’ll need to scribble it down…. “Dear Jim, please can you fix it for me to have an ambulance, as I think my heart has stopped?”
Life and death
Ten minutes further on and you’re still alive and kicking - it looks as if you won’t need that ambulance after all. The same can’t be said for poor Jim, who is laying face down on the floor. A brief, cruel smirk rises across your face as you remember that he was, ironically, listening to a song by Survivor ten minutes ago.
Looking around at the other people in the room, the walrus has finished on her running machine and is now fiddling with her briefs to try and extract them from her bottom. The gym instructor is looking frustrated at the immense pile of paper towel sitting on the floor next to your cross-trainer… you decide not to acknowledge him and hope that he doesn’t realise you were responsible. Wondering where Hal’s gone, you look behind you and realise that he’s been on the weight machines staring hypnotically at your bottom for the last 20 minutes. The shit - he’s going to have a field day with this one.
After finishing your workout, you stagger to the water machine. As you stand there, feeling tired but good, the paramedics carry Jim past you on a stretcher. The poor bugger.
Gym session over. Tomorrow you’re going to feel stiffer than a w*nker’s hanky. The question is: which will hurt more - the aching from your gym session or the sarcastic comments from Hal?
Right, time for fish and chips….
I recently wrote a blog article called Make Your Supermarket Trip Fun. Since then, life has gone a bit mad with work and a flat move. However, today I’m back and I’m…. writing about supermarkets again. I don’t live in a supermarket, believe me (but, if I did, I’d pitch my tent in the bakery aisle).
I was queueing at a supermarket checkout yesterday. Everyone was being so polite - standing in a straight line, not saying what they were thinking (“what the hell is he buying shampoo for - he’s bald?"). It got me thinking: I wonder if there are any articles on supermarket etiquette. It turns out that there are. Here’s one written for WikiHow.
However, it’s very boring, so here’s:
Robert's Alternative Supermarket Checkout Etiquette
1. Fill up a basket with as many individual items as you possibly can - stack them high and make sure you include a watermelon and a baguette (more on that in a minute). Then, making it obvious that you’re struggling to carry the heavy weight, head to the ‘basket only’ aisle. Whilst standing in the queue attracting everyone’s attention, keep muttering the words “I’m sure I’ve forgotten something….” Next, start counting your items loudly, but keep forgetting what number you got to and start again.
2. As you stand in the queue, comment on the shopping of the person behind you. Draw particular attention to anything that could possibly be embarrassing and talk in a loud voice. “Ah, I see you’re buying a cucumber…. so, you don’t have a fella in your life at the moment then….”
3. When you get to the stage where there is one person infront of you, grab the watermelon from your basket and hurl it down the conveyor belt towards the other end. As it hits the customer’s shopping pile, and scatters their items in all directions, yell out the word “STRIKE!” and do a little celebration dance.
4. Once the person infront has collected their goods (from the conveyor belt, the floor and the trolleys of various passers-by) and the conveyor belt is completely empty, seize your opportunity. Lay down on the conveyor belt (front first) and belly-surf your way down to the far end with your arms out (tip: ensure you haven’t put any shopping on the conveyor belt first).
5. As you talk to the cashier, change accents frequently and see if they notice. Start British, then move to American, Italian, Australian, French and finish with Welsh (as they always come last ;-) ).
6. When asked if you require assistance with packing your shopping, say “yes.” When the assistant arrives and begins to help you pack, repeatedly beat them over the head with the baguette and shout “come on - FASTER!!”
7. Help the cashier out. As they are scanning your items, lean over and start tapping the keys on their keypad. When asked what you are doing, tell them that you’re trying to solve a complex logarithmic equation that will safeguard the future of humanity. To help them further, make the beeping sound yourself as they scan items in (and vary the pitch).
8. When it comes to paying, pull a huge bag of pennies out of your pocket and begin to count them out, one by one. As you’re counting, forget where you got to and start again. Attempt to enlist the help of passers by, and the employee helping you pack, in counting your money and offer to pay them 10 pence each for their trouble. Increase the offer in 1 pence amounts until they agree, then pull out a contract form for them to fill in and sign.
Do you find yourself feeling bored, frustrated and disillusioned when you undertake your regular supermarket shopping expedition? It’s time to change all that!
Here’s a few challenges and ideas to make it more interesting for you and your fellow shoppers…
Challenge 1 - Don’t Shop From The Shelves
Pick yourself a trolley (try to get one that doesn’t have a wonky wheel) and enter the store. Now, before you grab for that 2-for-1 cake offer, stop. For this challenge, you’re only allowed to shop from other people’s trolleys. That’s right - you’re not allowed to put anything in your trolley that comes directly off the supermarket shelf.
I know what you’re thinking - that’s surely a bit cruel to the person you’re taking from? To help you get over the guilt, you’re allowed to replace the item you take with another similar-sized item from a supermarket shelf. Here’s an example:
You see an 85 year-old lady walking around and you spot that she has a jar of your favourite jam in her trolley. Whilst she is inspecting the tubes of Denture Cream, you creep up, take the jam and replace it with a box of PleasureMax Condoms. Problem solved - no guilt for you.
Challenge 2 - Fancy Dress
When you go shopping for a specific item, you should dress as the item you are going to buy. Be careful - it could be slightly embarrassing if you’re going in to buy tampons….
Need multiple items? Great - take your family along with you!
Challenge 3 - The Supermarket Dash
This challenge is simple - you have to get from one end of the supermarket to the other in the shortest time, whilst shouting the words “I forgot the cornflakes!!!” and frantically waving your arms in the air. Bonus points are given for shoving people head-first into the freezers…
On festive occasions, the word “cornflakes” can be substituted for items such as mince pies, cranberry sauce, hot-cross-buns, etc.
If you get bored with this one, an alternative version is to dress as an alcoholic tramp and crawl slowly along the floor towards the beer section whilst slurring the words “must have a…l…c…o…h…o…l.” If you can make it without being grabbed by security, you win.
Challenge 4 - Persuasion
Are you a good salesperson? Now’s the time to find out. You have to act like you work in sales and sell a product to someone that you wouldn’t usually expect to purchase that item. You can choose to make this as difficult as you want to, depending on how you’re feeling. For example, if you want an easy challenge you could try persuading an obese lady to purchase a packet of Jamie Dodgers. Slightly more difficult, you could try to sell shampoo to a bald man. Just don’t try to sell a pack of sausages to a vegetarian muslim….
All of these challenges should help ensure that your shopping trip remains interesting and entertaining. Just make sure that you shop at different supermarkets, to avoid being banned for bad behaviour….
No-one ever wants to come shopping with me anymore - I can’t understand why!?
The guy (or woman - this isn’t a gender-specific annoyance) who walks into a cafe on a cold day and leaves the door open. It only takes 2 seconds to close the door and save everyone from a chilling blast of arctic cold up their jacksey.
Yet this idiot, wearing his super-thick winter coat, doesn’t think about that, does he?
So, what happens next?
You get up from your chair and walk across to ‘ferme la porte’, ensuring that you slam it hard enough that the noise resonates around the room and shakes all the pictures off the walls. Everyone looks up at you, except for the ignorant ‘merde’ who left it ajar in the first place. You then trudge back to your seat (although in your mind you’re walking up to the man, grabbing his head and bashing it onto the counter infront of him).
You sit down, feeling irritated, and continue with what you were doing (the crossword in the newspaper, in which, coincidentally, the answer to 4 across is ‘tosspot’ - well, it’s not really, but it does fit, so f*ck it!)
Just as your mood begins to return to somewhere near normality, the inevitable happens. The guy has ordered take-away and, having paid for his sandwich and coffee by emptying the entire collection of loose change from his wallet, bag and coat pockets into a heap on to the counter, he opens the door and goes to walk out. You’re waiting for him to either shut the door behind him or give you the motive for murder.
Instead, he taunts you by doing neither and begins a long goodbye speech to the cafe owner (with the door wide open). Well, that’s enough for you - you get up off your chair, spilling the unfinished crossword to the floor, and sprint across the room, slamming the door in his face and knocking him and his coffee half way down the street. That’ll teach the little ‘4 across!’
Update: To my delight, I've just found out that there's a 'Close The Door' campaign in the UK. Find out more about it here.
You know what? Snow reminds me of a distant Auntie’s visit on Christmas Day. Everything seems very pleasant and enjoyable for the first 5 minutes and the children enjoy playing with her. But then you realise that she hasn’t really brought anything nice with her. She then overstays her welcome, irritates you to the point of hatred and gives you a frosty reception when you attempt to reshape her into a man.
Still, at least you can rely on teenagers to provide a smile in the snowy weather. I don’t know about you, but I feel positive that the future of our country will be safe in the hands of our young folk; particularly the ‘sensible ones’ who walk around in the bitter cold wearing t-shirts (or hoodies) and writing “amusing” messages on the front of parked cars. I watch them walk down the road, hoping that at some point they might slip over and impale themselves on a fence post. Should it happen, I intend to nip out and transcribe the word “twat!” in the pool of blood lying next to them. Hey, I may even draw a little picture.
Worried by what you’ve heard, you switch on the weather forecast and, within seconds, it comes up with a no-nonsense summary of what is to come: Severe Weather Warning: Heavy Snow. You go into a momentary state of shock and, for a split second, the weather forecaster transforms into the Grim Reaper and points his scythe at you. Sensing the need for urgency, you make a quick decision: It’s time to panic in a way that only British people can… begin Benny Hill music
The Supermarket Trip
Worried that other people might buy up everything that would help you survive being snowed in by the anticipated 20ft of snow, you jump straight into your car and speed to the local supermarket. After fighting your way into the car park you squeeze into a small space; parking half on the grass verge and half on the man collecting the trolleys. You grab a trolley and sprint through the supermarket doors, spinning a little old lady to the ground as she stands perusing the Easter hot cross bun offer. There’s no time for checking she’s ok - you’re panic buying, for goodness sake…
You dash through the store, heading straight for the bread and milk. Afterall, there are no better survival foods during two weeks of violent snow storms, and 20ft snow drifts, than bread and milk. Tins of food are not going to help and, therefore, should not be given consideration - what a stupid idea!
As you approach the bread aisle, you are greeted by a scene from a nuclear holocaust - the shelves have been decimated. A gust of wind from the stock room sends a bread bag rolling along the aisle towards you, like tumbleweed. Just as you’re about to give up, you spot a wounded survivor in the distance - a baguette; broken in two with a piece missing from the end (and a suspicious child-sized bite mark). This is no time to be fussy. You rescue the stricken bread stick and lift it gently into your trolley, as if you were lifting an elderly lady out of a chair (or off the floor, together with her hot cross buns). Great, your emergency survival kit is underway.
Next stop, milk. As you reach aisle 435, having fought your way through the crowds of 75 year olds scrapping over the last few boxes of Ritz crackers, it becomes obvious that you’ve once again arrived too late. The fridges are empty and there are puddles of milk lying stagnant on the floor. The scene bears the hallmarks of a battlefield after the biggest milk fight in history. You feel like crying, but can’t, for obvious reasons - it’s spilt milk and crying over it would make for a terrible pun.
So, what are you going to do - an emergency survival kit is no good without milk? I mean, you’ve got the baguette, surely you can’t be defeated at this late stage? And, besides, it’s a known religious ‘fact’ that “man cannot live by bread alone”… You have two choices:
1) Choose different milk. UHT, for example, has a much longer shelf life.
2) Slowly prowl around the store, like a stalker with squeaky shoes, and try to locate a trolley with milk in it. Then, using your ninja skills, sneak up and extract the milk from the owner’s trolley without them noticing. I mean, it’s not stealing, is it…
Any thought about trying option one leaves your head straight away - you’re in panic mode, this is no time for sensible thinking. So, temporarily abandoning your trolley, you walk around from one aisle to the next, taking cover behind other shoppers and large boxes of shredded wheat, and casually inspect the trolleys of unsuspecting shoppers. After a few minutes, you spot a young Mother and her trolley, which contains a big two pint bottle of milk - perfect. The milk starts calling you from the back of the trolley - you can clearly hear it (but, strangely, no-one else can!). It’s in a tricky position though - perched directly underneath the Mother’s four children, who sit squashed into the trolley’s single child seat. You convince yourself that your cause is greater than that of her four kids and so, whilst she is building up her emergency supply of Pampers nappies in a second trolley, you sneak up, distract the kids with lollipops taken from the end shelf, extract the bottle of milk and escape quickly, like a fart in a jockstrap.
Feeling elated, you stroll casually back to your trolley with a big grin on your face. However, a shock greets you as you return to your trolley… someone’s nicked your half-eaten baguette. The little shit!!
You feel desolate and bereft of ideas. In desperation, you do what any insane, panic-buying person would do… you head back to aisle 433 to fight over the Ritz crackers…
Some time later, you emerge from the carnage of aisle 433 (The Battle of The Ritz) - battered, bloodied, with a sore ankle where a ninety year old man bashed you with his zimmer frame (prior to you stamping on his toe and poking him in the eye with your remaining lollipop). Before you hobble to the checkout, you must get toilet rolls. However, another battle lies ahead for you. You push your trolley to the correct aisle, only to spot four children having a fight with the toilet rolls. It seems that their Mother left them there whilst she went off looking for some missing milk…
Exhausted from your shopping trip, you check out and leave the supermarket. One final challenge awaits you as you stand there surveying the car park. Where is your car? Three feet of snow fell during your 10 minute shopping expedition, so it’s not obvious. Thankfully, you spot the legs of the trolley collection man…