Thursday, January 08, 2009


Three vignettes from my trip to the supermarket this evening:

Vignette 1: A swarm of bogans were stampeding through the supermarket. Judging by their attire they had just come from the beach or a public pool. There were at least three children - two boys in board shorts and rats tails, and a little girl in a bikini – who ran about shrieking to each other and to the adults.

The younger adult, a woman in her early 20s who I assumed was their mother, waddled about in a black one-piece with a towel wrapped around her waist. She was massively obese, more like a selection of large jellies moving in close formation than a person.

The older adult, a woman in her late 30s who I assumed was their grandmother, was as desiccated as her daughter was massive. She was brown and leathery and extensively tattooed, with tired hair dyed a shade of blonde that suggested her bleach bottle had given up trying.

I could hear them all through the supermarket. I’m pretty sure that the unfortunate little girl’s name was Shania. And let me tell you, nothing shrieks across a crowded supermarket like “SHAN-III-AH!” in a bandsaw-like Australian accent.

Vignette 2: I was standing at the meat counter, considering chicken portions, when I felt someone’s hand gently but quite deliberately touching my butt.

Oh great, I thought. I’m being fondled in the supermarket by someone who I’m pretty certain isn’t going to be Gisele Bundchen. Now I’m going to have to run away to the dairy section and try to lose whoever this is.

I turned around to see a little boy, about three years old, reaching up and touching me in that way that toddlers do when they expect a parent’s hand to be within reach. My movement made him look up, and while he had a sudden expression that said, Wait, you’re not one of mine, he didn’t seem too perturbed.

“Sorry kid,” I said with a smile. “Wrong adult.”

I can’t be sure but I think he gave a tiny shrug, as if to say “whatever”, then skipped off.

Vignette 3: My cashier, a homely teenaged girl, had finished scanning my groceries and took my credit card. She produced the receipt, then reached into her bra, pulled out a pen from between her breasts, and handed it to me so that I could sign.

I’m pretty sure that there must be a niche market for this sort of thing, but frankly I’m not in it. I don’t want to use a pen that’s been sitting down the front of someone’s underwear for most of the day. Especially since we’re in the middle of a very sticky heatwave. Not to be all fastidious or anything, but ewww.

I've got to move to a better suburb.


Blogger TimT said...

But isn't that where you get kids, in the supermarket? Maybe he was just one of their free samples.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laughed really hard which was difficult because I have a headache and a sore throat! Read it to Kim too! At least you were distracted from the tedium of supermarket shopping. I think you should have taken the pen, signed your name then licked it before handing it back to her! Jaymez

10:27 PM  

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