I must have somehow missed the announcement but signs of its veracity are everywhere.
Going into a supermarket is like entering under the portals of a madhouse where only the fittest and most brazen survive. I was nearly knocked over yesterday by a self drive trolley. Well, I thought it was self drive but as I squeezed into the shelf of canned goods behind me to avoid getting completely squashed, it transpired that behind the mound of slice pans, vegetables, tins and dangerously clanking wine bottles, there lurked a small, grim faced woman in a red headscarf steering the trolley erratically all over the aisle. The little woman sailed on oblivious. She shouldn’t be put in charge of a rocking chair, never mind a trolley overflowing with enough food to feed an army battalion. I mean, there was just no way she could see where she was going. And do you know, the funny thing was I’d never seen her before. She was a complete stranger to me.
And that’s the thing that puzzles me. Like, where do all these people come from? Are they all living in the back of beyond and do they only come out once a year or what? Surely I can’t be the only one who wonders about this phenomenon?
Like, take today, I went into town.
The place was choc a bloc with strange cars, some with signs of rust on them and filthy number plates. My usual parking spot where I ALWAYS park without any trouble was gone. Sitting there as brazen as you like was a 2004 Fiesta. Worse, there was no free space at all nearby, I had to go half way up to Newmarket before I spotted a space that I could squeeze myself into.
Then I go into my favourite coffee shop as I do every week and not only do I not get seated at my favourite table but I’m damm lucky to get seated anywhere at all as the whole place is crammed with people. And the thing is, I’ve never seen any of these people before either. More bloody strangers and they all acting like they’ve not eaten a bite in days.
As I’m crossing the road to Super Value on my way down to the bookshop, I have to sidle my way between two parked cars. Next thing the door of one is fling open, catching me on the hip and throwing me back against the bonnet of the vehicle at the other side of me. I’m winded but does the woman apologise or ask me if I’m ok? No,she’s in far too much of a hurry to get into the shop to join all the other demented custoners roaming the aisles pushing out of control trolleys overflowing with food and crashing into everyone because they can’t see out over the mountain of food. And the thing is, I didn’t know her either, total stranger, never seen her before in my life.
At this stage, I admit defeat,I know every shop in the place is the same, I decide the book shop can wait until the New Year when all these strangers will have returned from whence they came and the town will settle down again and be a safe place both to park, shop and eat in.
I go home and fairly murder a very large glass of hot port. I know with certainty that if I had to go through this experience every week, I’d either be permanently on xanax or a raving alcoholic.
Lord, I hope now I’ve enough food bought in, maybe I’ve been a bit cavalier, like, what if there is a bit of a famine like and I’m caught short…?
PS: I’ve a right bruise in my right hip, so I have, where that strange woman flung me up against the bonnet of the other car. Jeez, I hope it won’t turn septic or anything.