Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tesco Checkout Hopscotch

When I left the house, this morning, we were out of toilet paper. I have one emergency roll, but I didn't put it out, cause I wanted to see if M1 would break down and actually by some. Because I don't trust him, I decided to stop at Tesco and purchase some...just in case. Besides, last night, when I visited my friend who closes a restaurant, he had no meat left over for me. All I was able to get was three servings of cole slaw. I figured I could use some food to last through the weekend. I was also out of potato salad and had limited amounts of crisps left.
I stopped at the Tesco Superstore, between Camberley and Sandhurst. I picked up some Tesco Value potato salad, then found Creamy Tesco cole slaw marked down, because of being at its sell by date. I grabbed two 600 gram containers. I also got two bags of Tesco stir fried vegetable mix, marked down. I picked out the lowest priced twelve pack of toilet paper rolls, carrying the large package under my arm. Then I found Tesco hot dog buns on sale, buy one pack get one free. Two of those. After picking up a 12 pack of Tesco Value crisps, I decided to check the price of the microwave popcorn. It's a good thing I did, as Orville Redenbacher was on sale, buy one, get one free. Two of those.
As I headed for the checkout counters, I noticed the store seemed very busy, considering it was a Thursday afternoon, before 5PM. Who are all these people? I started looking for the Nepalese woman I have seen working here, a couple of times before. Walking along the checkout counters, I didn't see her, so I looked for a back up choice. I spied a woman with a relatively short queue. Although she was older, she was decent looking, so I joined her queue. Before I could put any of my shopping on the belt, another woman at the till next to the one I was at, called out to me and said I should join her queue. She, too, was older and not quite as good looking as the woman at the checkout I was in queue for. Also, although the woman who called out to me had less people in her queue, with only one couple, that couple had a lot of food. In my expert shopper's opinion, the odds looked better that I would get through faster on the queue I was already on. Was this woman getting ready to close, or something? I grimaced and moved from one queue to the other, as requested. After I changed queues, the one I had left definitely seemed to be moving quicker. The woman at the new till was named Anne. She glanced at the other queue, with a concerned look on her face. It dawned on her that I was better off where I had originally been.
As if she was trying the help Anne out, the cashier at the original queue started going very slow. By the time it was my turn, the queues were even. Anne apologized for pulling me away from the quicker queue. She had the look of an old school teacher, or of someone's mother. I told her not to worry, as he co-worker had slowed down to make her Anne look good. "I wondered why you were so determined to lure me to your queue," I said.
Anne peered up at me, from behind a delicate pair of glasses. "It was your magnetic personality," she said.
"I think that's actually the metal plate in my head," I responded, dismissively. Anne mentioned having a son, in his thirties. "Is that even legal?" I enquired, feigning shock.
"Yes, everying was proper. I was married," she said.
"But people got married at, like, 12, back then...didn't they?" She just chuckled.
I told you that you have a magnetic personality," she said, continuing to smile. I said goodbye and walked out into the late October, afternoon sunshine, with my toilet paper stuck under one arm.


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