Chapter Three (Shopping for tomato puree….)

Phil didn’t like shopping much, well, maybe a little, okay quite a lot actually. Strange I know but it was more the search for a bargain that interested him: shame they let other people in. He knew where pretty much everything was in his local super…make that…hypermarket, apart from the tomato puree of course. That was always on the move and Phil vowed to catch them actually in the process of moving it one day.

One week it’d be by the tinned veg, the next in the Italian food section, then by the chopped tomatoes, occasionally by the Pot Noodles; sometimes it would make it all the way to the World Foods aisle where it would skulk next to a jar of Reggae Reggae Sauce. And don’t even begin to mention when it was on special offer!

Phil didn’t buy tomato puree that often so when he did, it was always in a different place and he would stomp around getting annoyed at the world before returning to where he’d started to find it where he’d first looked. This constant need to get wound up was a strange aspect of Phil’s character and one he couldn’t quite figure out. He was constantly bemused at himself for going out of his way to get wound up.

He still checked the music charts every week despite the fact that popular music was so dire and insipid these days. He told himself that he was just looking in case anything good actually got into the charts, and maybe that was true, but mainly he did it to get wound up at the stupid names they called themselves these days and tut at the banality of songs he hadn’t even heard and didn’t want to thank you very much. Any song called ‘I got U’ or ‘Eez—Eh’ was hardly worth wasting his time on nor artists who thought they were oh so clever by putting ‘Vs’ in their names. Honestly, what had the world come to?

But quite the daftest thing that Phil did to wind himself up was on Facebook. He didn’t use it much as he didn’t have many friends to be honest but he liked to Facestalk (a word he’d invented but then thought it sounded a bit creepy so didn’t mention it to anyone else). He’d see who was doing what and had checked out some photography groups ready for when his new camera arrived.

And then there was Norma and her new beau, Alan. Norma liked to think her life was interesting and Alan liked to think he was funny. Norma would put a status up about painting a wall or something and there would be the bit underneath where it said how many comments there were on this status. Now, you don’t have to click on that do you? Why would you when you know that what will be written there will annoy the hell out of you? What would be the point? You’d move on, check someone else out, wouldn’t you?

Not Phil. He’d click on the comments and very rarely be let down by Alan the new beau who would somehow manage to turn that incredibly dull status into an innuendo or some ‘joke’ that didn’t have a rightful place in the privacy of one’s own home let alone there for many to see on the internet. So something like painting a wall would be turned into ‘I’ll fill up your brush baby.’ Something about cooking sausages….well I’m sure you can guess….

I’m not sure what you’d call this need to wind oneself up, there’s probably a medical term for it, but Phil just preferred dickhead and would silently berate himself every time he did it. I say silently every time…

Today was a bit different as it had been a stressful day, what with the parcels arriving, the instruction reading and now thinking about Alan the unfunny beau. He didn’t even need tomato puree so he couldn’t figure out why he was searching for it between the cakes and the bread.

‘DICKHEAD!’ he shouted out loud.

And then came the apologies, the red face and the cowering under the gaze of a 30ft chav whose tracksuit bottoms were almost falling out of his bright red socks.

‘Sorry’ he mumbled and slipped silently into the hole he’d just dug for himself. Well he walked away to the electricals section if you want the honest truth but the metaphor stays. When he was away from the people he’d offended he exclaimed,

‘SHIT!’ which started another round of apologies, an even redder face as the 30ft chav’s partner put her hands over her kid’s ears.

‘’You potty mouth fucker, who do you think ya are using fucking language like that in front of a little fucking kid?’ she screamed. During this rant her hands had moved well away from the child’s ears and it began to cry.

‘Now look what ya done ya twat! You upset the little fucker!’

And then the 30ft chav turned up. And then security. And Phil apologised some more. And finally made it to the electrical section. Closely followed by the security guard.

This wasn’t turning out to be a good trip out. Maybe he’d try another super….make that….hypermarket next time. As he stood wondering where they would keep their tomato puree a polite voice asking if he could help him in any way interrupted his daydreaming.

‘Yes’ Phil said ‘Do you know in what section Sainsbury’s keep their tomato pur….I mean, sorry, erm, I need a mammary card for my camera. Memory. Memory card. Please.’

Despite Phil’s bright red face the assistant simply smiled and asked,

‘How big would you like it sir?’

‘Oo-er matron, don’t be so saucy.’

It was at this point that Phil was escorted out of the store leaving a sobbing seventeen year old female assistant in tears.

‘And don’t come back’ shouted the security guard as Phil tried to skulk off through the throngs approaching the store.

Chapter Four (The shortest chapter ever?)

Sainsbury’s. A much more successful trip. Phil bought a memory card. He went home.

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About the author

Fresh from failing to be an actor, a singer and retaining a full head of hair Glyn is now attempting to be a photographer and a novelist. He has taken more pictures today than he has written words of his novel in the last six months. Some of them he regards as okay..

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