Thursday, November 17, 2005



I stood in the checkout of Intermarché with my filled trolley, trying not to tut tut.

‘Why do I always pick the wrong queue?’ I seethed to myself.

The check out girl’s hugely expectant belly popped up, up and away from her tiny frame, spilling cutely over the conveyor belt. The brass buttons on her blue nylon Intermarché coat strained excitedly as she coo cooed, ENDLESSLY, to the boy nestling in the lustrous curls of the Maghrebian mother before me.

“Oh je te connais depuis que tu étais dans le ventre de ta mere mon trésor”; “Je me souviens de tes premiers pas, mon ange”; “Et comment tu étais heureux à la fête de ton premier anniversaire mon p’tit chou chou”……etc.

Luckily he was only about one, so hopefully the story of his life according to our checkout gal was coming to a close over the frozen peas, which somehow hadn’t yet been rung up.

I twitched, wondering if my irritation was because I was jealous. Then I started to quite enjoy that the girl’s eminent life-change was completely eclipsing her duties and causing her to be oblivious of her waiting customers. So it should, I began to think.

Maybe I even coo-cooed a bit myself inwardly.

Finally the grocery bisector came down and it was my turn to unload:

Crème fraiche
A pork’s belly
Two bags of blue potato chips
Posh Da Cecco egg pasta
Gargantuan tampons
A Very Unethical Lavazza double pack of coffee
Bacon bits
Sheep’s yoghurt
12 bottles bio UHT
12 bottles badois (for hangovers)
Bottle of bubbly (for celebrations)

Mmmm. A warm glow spread through my abdomen at the thought of roast pork and ex- postcard from provence quinces for dinner. I tapped my code personnel into the carte bleu machine dreamily and we all waited for the inevitable receipt to slip out…

“Je regrette que votre carte était refusée, Madame” came the brusque answer.

“Oh fuck” I said, fumbling for the American Express gold card I only got to gain air-miles.

“Cette carte n’est plus valide, Madame”


The colour rose to my temples, I started unpacking the shamefully rich contents of my trolley. The local drunk behind me giggled behind his duo of whiskey bottles and the bleached blonde smokerina behind him giggled too … I forgot to get my euro back from the slot……..

Putin de merde.

I just hope they know I do buy veg, and that I do it elsewhere.


Blogger MB said...

Great post, Ruth, it's so... human! Made me laugh about myself, too.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

Ooh. Ow.

11:21 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Bloody banks.

Wait....I work for a bank....

What a wonderful example of electronic security protecting all of us against fraudulent misuse.

Bla bla bla.

Ah, the stories we could tell...... (if not contractually bound not to).

Hope you eventually got your spelndid dinner.

1:44 AM  
Blogger ruth said...

Hey Rob,

I managed to get away with the pork so we had an amazing meal of roast pork with quinces from the neighbour's tree.

Actually I was heavily overdrawn which is a fairly good reason to have my card refused I guess (but we work so hard she whinged....)

thanks for visiting. Funnily enough edinburgh is much in my mind at the mo as, if it weren't for a strange sort of savbbatical, I should be up there with Glyndebourne in a week or two and it's my fave bit of the tour. (sob...)

10:32 AM  
Blogger Peter (the other) said...

Funny how the Google ads switched to Pork Chops and such. I clicked on them like mad, in case you get paid per click (I don't know how that works, if you get paid per purchase you are out of luck), so next time the champers will make it home too!

6:36 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

how sweet of you peter. yes yes yes click away!!!! Julian gets paid per click and it covers the hosting of his and my sites so champagne's on him!! what a sweet thought;

7:34 PM  

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