Usually shopping day is Tuesday, every week. Things One & Two are usually firmly ensconced in school and The Fathership usually takes myself, The Husband and The Toddler to the shops seeing as we don't drive and feeding the Party of Five is no small shopping jaunt. It sounds awfully kind of him and believe me we are terribly grateful yet lets just say being in a car with Daddy Dearest is an ... experience. However, The Fathership is in Spain for a few weeks and The Spawn are currently diminishing our sanity at home for The Easter Holidays, I wasn't exactly relishing the idea of us all descending en masse to the poky supermarket, granted we frequently do mid week top ups there but a full shop? I generally don't think I could survive it, or should I say I might but it's doubtful they would.
So, it was decided The Boys would stay at home with The Husband and I'd take Thing Two with me. It's not often I leave the house sans The Husband and even less often sans The Toddler, yet occasionally I get a random burst of confidence and seize it. We walked the 0.8 miles there with the flutters of snow tickling the earth around us, gloved hands in hands as we chatted away with wind slapped cheeks glowing. In order to get to the cash machine you have to go into the shop, then go as if to exit fighting past the queues then exit totally to get a trolley and start again. Obviously the ATM only issues notes whereas the trolleys only accept pound coins, you can see where this is going can't you? Not to worry, I had a plan. I'd buy some appallingly overpriced confectionery to get some change, or at least I would if I didn't have to queue up miles to buy one item that I don't even necessarily want and definitely don't need just so I can get some change to get a trolley to then go back round the shop. Madness. Never Fear, those self service tills of doom loomed near. As a general rule we never ever use them, firstly we believe they're replacing jobs that good old fashioned humans could and should be doing for a wage and secondly they always fuck up so you need a human intervention from staff anyway. Pointless awful contraptions. Could you believe I even had to queue up to use one of those? You know, to use something I disagree with to buy something I don't actually want. I hadn't even started the shopping and my blood pressure was already bubbling dangerously high. I swear I nearly mauled the man in front of me, too busy chatting on his phone to actually see it was his turn.
Do I have my own bag it asks? For a pack of soothers? Erm, yes, okay. Only once i'd scanned them The Machine took offence at the fact I didn't actually have a bag and was quite insistent that I must present it upon the bag area. Oh give me strength. Fine, I petulantly plonked my handbag upon it. There, you insufferable machine, a bag. However, this bag is too heavy apparently. I have an obese bag. It was being rejected how humiliating for my poor bag. So now that little light starts flashing like a mute police car whilst the screen politely informs me assistance is on the way. On the way from where exactly it chose not to disclose, I'm of the opinion Paraguay judging by the time it took. For the love of all that's unholy. So, she saunters up does some random witchcraft with a card thing and then wanders off. Great. Dandy. I frantically try and locate where exactly i'm suppose to feed my twenty pound note, this being the only day in the week that I actually possess money of the paper variety, and place it there. Nothing happens. Spiffing. Super. I'm positively growling at this point, relatively close to phasing into some rabid werewolf and trashing the whole bastard shop. Eat it you ghastly contraption. I try shoving it into it's bestilled gob. Success! Aha!
Only, I get outside and go to pluck a pound coin from my change so that I could finally get a damn trolley only to see it had given me notes and TWO £2 coins. Yes, really. You couldn't have scripted it better. I'm relatively sure I turned a shade of vicious puce and started hopping about on the spot looking for something to kick, hard, before I killed someone or worse cried. Thankfully some kind woman noted my imminent breakdown and asked if i'd rather like some change from her.
At last. A trolley. I can now actually start shopping, pissing joy! Thankfully the rest of the shopping there was uneventful, I really should receive a tremendously large amount of credit for not killing anybody, if only you knew the sheer force of will it took. You'd be terribly impressed or at least you should be.
Only it wasn't over yet, I now had to go next door. With baleful determination I swung the trolley into gear and commenced. Bliss, my biggest problem was deciding which hair dye to purchase. Nothing lasts though does it? I finally get to be served and the cashier decides that now is evidently the perfect time to stop and write out painstakingly slowly the message she wishes to relay vocally over the public address system. Of course now is the perfect time she couldn't possibly have done it before serving the customer in front of me nor the one behind me. Why me? My eyes linger over the alcohol section behind me as I begin to question the need for food, surely The Spawn can eat carpet fluff for a week whilst I fill a trolley with alcohol, right? It's times like this I wished I still smoked.
I call for a taxi whilst waiting outside only to realise they hung up without taking my name, this should be interesting seeing as usually several people are all waiting for a taxi.
This is when the day turned around. This is the moment that literally saved the local residents from my wrath and a a psychopathic homicidal rampage. A taxi pulled up, my taxi and rather then totally ignore the passenger as they usually do the lovely driver got out of his car and started putting my shopping in the boot for me saying he'd do it and I could just leave him to it. Bless. What a trooper. Not wanting to take the piss, I stayed put and did the job together. The taxi fare is actually cheaper then the bus, so I gave him a healthy tip, not healthy as in actual amount but healthy as in compared to what the actual fare was. He looked bashful and confused, I explained it's because he helped me rather then the usual drivers who seem oblivious to someone struggling. He looked genuinely confused as if the act of not helping was alien to him then the absolute darling despite my protests of it being unnecessary actually insisted on carrying my shopping down the path and steps to my door for me. I could have kissed him! It only takes an act of human kindness to save a potential massacre of random people. Well, for today at least. I can't promise they'll be safe tomorrow.