Sunday, May 13, 2007

On the Run

It's a wet, quiet Sunday. I've done my ironing, watched Swordfish and failed to find any ideas to port across to my screenplay - which is quickly moving away from its original concept and becoming more IT related (Swordfish was no help) - and popped to Sainsbury's to do the weekly shop.

I found myself increasingly disorientated by the mindbogglingness of others. First, the petrol station, where, on a quiet Sunday, I find myself stuck behind the only guy in the world who's yet to sort out his chip and pin. "I don't have one," he tells the till clerk, but the clerk won't allow him to sign. "I was here yesterday," the guys continues, "and your boss let me sign for my petrol."

My first thought of course was, gee, this guy travels a lot, but then, also, why in the hell wouldn't he have sorted out his pin? Crazy fool. Someone else started serving, thank God, because I don't know how long this bottleneck would have remained.

So, I get to Sainsbury's, it's raining and I'm in just a t-shirt... jeans too of course, I'm not crazy. And the world and its wife have brought their entire families along. Why do people do that? You swing out of fruit and veg and almost take down fifty kids you didn't know were playing kiss chase in aisle three. You have to ditch your trolley in the vain attempt to locate plum tomatoes where an amassing army of old folk have barricaded entry. You struggle to find porkpies amongst the couples arguing over coleslaw or dips, their choice of trolley abandonment being the centre of the aisle.

I'm halfway round when I need to go back for the Fajita mix, so I sideline the trolley in the first quiet spot I find - end of an aisle, near to bread, nice and out of the way - I don't want to have to negotiate back into the ice pits near the freezers with all and sundry attempting to bump me off with their trolleys of choice and elbows of death. So, I dart back, commando, ducking, diving, searching, rolling - I am Indy Jones fleeing the traps at the beginning of Raiders. I slip between crushing trolleys faster than the Argonauts breeze through those cliffs, I double back when the going gets too tough. I collect paydirt and race back in time to make a dash for the light... only, two aisles down and I pick up the Hulahoops and dump them into the trolley - my trolley... somebody's trolley.

Holy Jeepers! The trolley wasn't mine. It wasn't a customers! It was filled with stock to be shelved, and I'd just nabbed it. What to do? Take it back, be seen returning it to a crowded aisle, being stared at, pointed at... laughed at.

I ran! I dumped my swag there (where the staff would never think to look, I bet) and made a break for freedom before the tannoy rang out with my description, before the security guards railed on me with baguette batons - I wouldn't be able to fight back, since my own loaf was in my trolley somewhere.

Only, I couldn't flee inflagrante - I needed my trolley, so's no one would suspect I was some crazy trolley thief, and for a moment there, I thought someone had stolen it! What kind of crazy fool steals another person's trolley?

I found it exactly where I'd left it... and there to was a member of staff looking up and down the aisle, scratching their head as if wondering what had happened to their trolley. I made my getaway under the pretense of a civilian shopper. I was safe.

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