The plan was simple. In and out, no questions asked; no loitering in the condiment section, and under no circumstances were we to visit the wall of discount gins, whiskies and wines.
Rules are man made and we had tried many times in the past to obey the policies we laid before ourselves, but nearly always we come out clutching whiskey or wine – The lure of the discounts on gorgeous bottles of scotch is just too much for us of weak temperament.
In our previous excursions, we have gone in for bin bags, beans and bog roll and come out with a peaty scotch and an armful of red wine. This time would be different.
One of our adventures almost ended in calamity as we boldly decided to brave a supermarket giant on a Saturday morning, carefully laden with the remnants of the night before and a crazed desire for the fixings of the most lavish fry up known to man; the details of which are an entirely different story altogether.
Marcus Aurelius, seventh earl of Devonshire managed to guide his particular vehicle from point A to B without either killing us, or any pedestrians; though there was a near miss with an elderly lady taking her rat for a walk which shouldn’t have been avoided.
This particular behemoth of supermarkets was located far from the main land, out at sea in a hazardous excuse for an industrial estate. It was the attraction for many of the local swine; eager to fill their cloof paws with tins of corned beef and value microwave burgers that it sold in its luminous belly.
The doors parted like the red sea, but instead of salvation, all we saw was hell.
It was a struggle to wade through the swathes of hideous bastards out for their weekly dose of fun, but we managed to procure all of our breakfast delights.
The lights were bright and the floor reflected our repugnant forms as we hobbled, goblin like towards the checkout with our goods.
It was in the frozen isle that it all went to shit. The icy chill and the tungsten sent us into a frenzy as the whiskey and Guiness from the night before raced through our nervous system. I remember falling under the weight of the tins of beans and bags of hash browns, having to support myself on the edge of the frozen pizza cabinet, using it to guide me to the end of the line just to make it out in one piece.
The next thing I remember is coming to at the checkout; Mark was on the adjacent conveyor having a similarly horrific experience. I looked down and the checkout girl was staring at me like I was a rabid dog on fire. I had no idea how long I had been there, but was I was midway through packing so I was compos mentis enough to not be a raving lunatic. She took an age, though I’m sure she was scared witless by this partially suited hairy freak staring at her with a rambling jaw and wide shark like eyes.
We paid, left and ate like kings, but I have missed my original intention and told a completely different story. Back to the present day…
It was a Monday night; we were frozen to our chairs and hungry. The warmest place to be was the car, so we donned our warmest head wear and headed for the Zang Wagon.
The plan was for stacks of tinned goods and the biggest bags of pulses we could find, nothing else…except for a toilet brush.
We were cold, sober and on a mission. The legions of leeches would have receded by this time on a Monday evening so our chances of survival were looking good. The gorillas in the car park had their stereos blaring summer holiday by Cliff Richard, ironically it was heading into the middle of winter, but they ignored us and we headed inside, armed with a trolley and a plan.
The first hurdle is to always avoid the deals, but upon entering, we were greeted with six bottles of your finest yellow tail Shiraz for twenty-five of your English pounds. It took the will of Sampson to drag us away, but we were going to stick to the mission god damnit!
We located the tinned goods and loaded up with tomatoes and beans. The sharks began to circle, looking bemused and wide eyed at these two freaks of nature, fresh from the big city stocking up as if the internet as we know it was about to go down. We carried on our way.
By the time we were finished, we had amassed exactly thus:
10kg white rice
3kg Fusili pasta
3kg brown lentils
3 litres of vegetable oil
a selection of spices, seeds and sauces
20 tins of tomatoes
20 tins of baked beans
12 tins of chickpeas
3 tins of tuna
….and a toilet brush
We chose the checkout counter carefully as we did not want to arouse the suspicions of the overseers, so we headed to the guy with the beat beard and the scrawny arms. He surely won’t judge our bizarre shopping habits?
As we place our items on the belt, the two magpies in front peer out from horn-rimmed glasses and suck in a little breath, aghast at what we had laid after them. They can’t help but steal a few more horrified looks before paying for their box jumbo of chocolates and scarpering off to hunt for tacky gold treasures somewhere in the distance.
A short Indian man a few tills down has approximately 31 boxes of Quality streets piled taller than him, but no one gave him a second glance; our lentils were more of a head turner
After a few inquisitive questions, the checkout guy, we shall call him Bruce, opened up to us and began spouting out secret information given to him by the secret service of Barbados, if there is such a thing; the conversation quickly changed to hot sauce. We said our goodbyes, after paying of course and headed swiftly for the car.
Our Monday night stockpile was a success, but it is only a matter of time before a disaster shall occur again in the realms of big business shopping. For now though, we shan’t have to buy rice or lentils for a good few months.
Title stolen from Mark S. Devonshire