Archive for the ‘Sainsbury's Local’ Category

I just went to the shop. I won’t tell you what I went for, this isn’t one of those confessional blogs, but the item I bought cost me £1.09. I tell you what, I’ll let you in on which shop it was. It was the Sainsbury’s Local over the road. My road, not yours. Unless you work with me. I’m going down a cul-de-sac. Not the road. The road isn’t a cul-de-sac. I’m drowning. Help.

So, anyway, I handed over £1.10 from my back pocket. I wouldn’t normally have change there, but there’s a little hole in my front pocket. And then time mysteriously slowed down. For I was caught in the penny trap, the trap we all fall into when we overpay by a penny.

All the permutations ran through my brain. Stay and look like a miser? Or shall I walk away nonchalantly? “Cuh!” my action would eloquently state, “I am far too important to stand here waiting for a mere penny. I wear a suit to work, for heaven’s sake.”

But then the fear of the callback clutched at my heart. The dread of the moment when the checkout assistant would say, “Ey, love, you’ve forgotten your change.” And then I would have to skulk back, in front of the queue, to retrieve my dull penny.

I decided to wait. But the checkout assistant was chatting. And painfully slowly she reached into the till, took out the penny and kept it in her hand. I immediately switched from “imperious penny change avoider” to “tight-fisted penny change hoarder.” Now I was waiting, waiting in front of a load of people all watching and judging me, waiting for a penny – a unit of currency so small it doesn’t even buy a penny sweet these days, so small I’d need a hundred of them just to buy The Guardian.

“Why didn’t I hand over a £2 coin, or even £1.20?” I railed at the heavens. “Nobody would bat an eyelid at a man of my bearing and position hanging about a bit for 11p.”

The sadistic checkout assistant finally dropped the hot penny into my hand. “D’ya wanna receipt?”

Did I want a receipt for my £1.09 purchase? (Oh, all right! It was a bottle of Coke.) I have a £2 limit on receipts. I can’t imagine bringing anything back to the shop for less than £2. It’s not like a bottle of Coke can be corked. And I can’t imagine going back to the shop and saying, “Can I exchange this? It looked all right in the shop, but when I took it into the daylight it was very lacklustre. Do you have an Irn Bru in this size?”

“No, no, it’s all right,” I said, desperate to get away from the tills and into safety. I bustled out of the shop, shoving my change into my front pocket.

The penny fell out through the hole and rolled down a grid.

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I popped to the supermarket today – part of my continuing attempts to ‘keep it real.’ My doctor suggests such activities are therapeutic, but I reckon he just wants somebody to do his shopping for him. He tells me I’m bi-polar, as if that’s a problem. Frankly, I don’t see why that should be the case. Can’t I like the Arctic AND the Antarctic?
I digress. While I was in Sainsbury’s I saw bars of chocolate packaged like pharmaceutical products. I think that’s splendid. There are many people out there who identify themselves as ‘chocoholics.’ usually women of a certain type, and this tremendous jape would, I imagine, be right up their street.

But I wonder what it would be like if chocoholism were treated as a genuine and debilitating addiction. Would chocolate be banned, and if so, what would happen then? And here I am, wondering…
My name is Muriel Pugh, and I’m a chocolate addict. It’s been six years, four months and nine days since my last bar.
I suppose my story is the same as so many other people caught in this trap. I mean, when you’re a kid, you think, “There’s no way I’ll ever do Buttons.”

But then you become a teenager and you go to a party and it gets to 1am and they start handing out the Smarties like, well, Smarties. They seem harmless. But that’s how they pull you in.

Before too long I’d graduated to KitKats. I’d make up a Bournvita, but that wasn’t enough. It was too slow, so I’d snort it up through a Flake.
I had to get help. I went to my doctor and he put me on Caramacs, but it wasn’t the same. I started turning tricks just so I could get a couple of chunks of Dairy Milk.
I knew I was at rock bottom when I found myself eating chocolate Santas off the Christmas tree…

Still, that pharmaceutical chocolate packaging is a cracking wheeze. I mean, I know some people might think that blurring the distinction between sweets and drugs might be a bad thing vis-a-vis the kiddies, but I think they’re just stick-in-the-muds.
I think it’s such a good joke, I’d sacrifice maybe four or five children for it. Maybe if they got into double figures they’d have to have a rethink.

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I looked up ‘wont’ in my dictionary and it means ‘custom.’ Thankfully, it appears I used it correctly in my last post, so that’s a relief.

I was amused to hear a young chap break off from his mobile phone call in the Sainsbury’s Local across the road and ask the cashier “Can I get 20 Benson & Hedges?” My understanding is that that request is normally reserved for transactions in coffee shops.

Anyway, the cashier said yes, but then picked up the cigarettes himself, which, strictly and accurately speaking, is not what the young mobile phone chap asked.

The young mobile phone chap was asking if it was physically possible for himself to take a packet of 20 Benson & Hedges from the shelf.

The only honest reply from the cashier should have been “In theory, yes, but it is company policy to discourage customers from walking behind the counter.”

Ideally, the customer should have asked, “Please may I have 20 Benson & Hedges?” But I imagine he would not have found that sufficiently cool to impress the person at the other end of his telephone call.

So he had to use a form of words he has probably heard in the TV programme Friends. It probably made him feel a little bit like Chandler Bing, but more sexually successful.

In a way I pity him, but in another way I despise him.

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