Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Treat or Trick

It's Halloween. Halloween is my mother's birthday. In honor of my mother's birthday, I decided to buy myself a present. I remembered that the new Girls Aloud album was released, yesterday. I hoped they had it at Tesco. I stopped at the Tesco superstore (they call it Tesco Extra...extra what?), between Camberley and Sandhurst, as I needed frozen sweetcorn. I didn't want to take the chance that the smaller Tesco, near my home, would be out again. The first thing I did inside was look for the CDs. I had trouble finding them, cause they are not where they used to be. They are moving stuff around in this Tesco. Why do stores do that? Just when you want to grab a few items, quickly, they play "hide the salami."
Following a hunch, I finally found the CD aisle. The big question is, "would they have the new Girls Aloud album, "Sounds of the Girls Aloud?" Yes! The price was descent, too...£9.77. Well, descent for the UK. I picked up a copy and headed towards the reduced to clear, sections. I could hardly wait to play my new CD, in the car, but it's always worth checking "reduced to clear." The first one I check, in this store, is the fruit and vegetable "reduced to clear." Where it's normally located, I found a wooden, temporary wall, with some sign on it about a new dairy section under construction. Where did they move the fruit and vegetable "reduced to clear?" I didn't have time to mess around, looking, Girls Aloud were waiting. I headed to the second "reduced to clear," in the refridgerated section.
There was noting in the refridgerated, "reduced to clear," appealing to me, so I swung around and into the frozen foods area. Plenty of sweetcorn was available, so I picked up a bag and kept rolling. I got a bottle of still water, for my car. Yes, my car drinks bottled, still water. I thought I would check to see if Orville Redenbacher microwave popcorn was still on sale, as Tesco sometimes runs their sales for a couple of weeks. The good news was the sale was still on. The bad news was that there was none on the shelf. Screw this, I set off to checkout.
I always go to the checkouts nearest the end of the store opposite from where the entrance is. That's because, at this Tesco, there is an exit at the opposite end from the entrance and that exit is nearest to where I park. Also, I start my shopping near the entrance, then go back and forth, up and down the aisle, moving down the store. That way, I finish shopping nearest to the exit. See how organized I am? Today, I started scanning the checkouts for a satisfactory one to use (i.e., good looking, female cashier and not too long a queue). I couldn't find the Nepalese cuttie who works this store. As I was looking for alternatives, I saw, further up, a cashier wearing a witch's hat. Oh, I had to have some of's Halloween! As I walked toward that checkout counter, that cashier, who was pretty good looking, was replaced by one who looked awful. At least the replacement was wearing a witch's hat, too. It suited her, cause she looked like a witch.
Speaking ofwitchess, when I was a little boy (yes, I was a little boy, once...I wasn't born the way I am now, for Pete's sake!), my mother used to tell me that because she was born on Halloween, she was a witch. Obviously, my mother was the sensitive, caring type. Imagine telling a little kid his mother is a witch. I could have been in therapy for years, because of that. So, as it's my mother's birthday, should I call her? The last time I spoke to her, which was months ago, she got all weird on me and told me not to call her anymore. So far, I have done as she told me, but it's her birthday and the card I mailed yesterday won't get there for a couple of more days, yet. Okay, I will call her now. No answer. It's very hard to get her to answer the phone. It's still early evening there, so maybe she's out. Anyway...
Back to the cashier. There were two people in front of me, both women. The first one had quite a bit of stuff on the belt. I picked up my Girls Aloud CD and started looking at the back cover. This must be the slowest cashier in Britain. It seemed to take forever for her to ring up the woman's purchases. The cashier looked very old. Maybe she had been young and hot, when she started working that day, but she took so long to ring up purchases, she aged while working. Hurry up, I want to play Girls Aloud! Finally, it was the woman in front of me's turn. Some goofy guy with a little kid, or two, had joined the queue, behind me. He put his shopping on the belt, but left a gap so large you could land a plane in it, between my shopping and his. How weird is he? I noticed he didn't have a Girls Aloud CD. Then I looked at the woman's shopping, in front of me. She didn't have Girls Aloud, either. Why aren't these people buying Girls Aloud? Well, maybe they bought theirs yesterday. What I did notice is that she had several items of "reduced to clear," fruit and vegetables. How come she could find it? Then I noticed that she was wearing a Tesco uniform, under her coat. Ah-ha! Do they hide the items in some corner, so they can buy them for themselves? Is that it? The scanner was having difficulty picking up the new barcodes on these "reduced to clear" items, so that was what was slowing down the cashier. She had to enter them manually.
Then it was my turn. She picked up my Girls Aloud CD, but instead of removing it from its plastic security holder, she started reading the back. "It's Girls Aloud's new CD," I said.
"Yes, I was just seeing what is on there. I like them," she said.
"Haven't you bought it, yet? It was released, yesterday. It has all their hits, plus their new single," I said. This morning, at work, when the Sous Chef was putting on an MP3 player, after breakfast, I had asked him, "have you gotten the new Girls Aloud album, yet?" He hadn't. He was so amused that I asked him that he asked the temp chef. See? Word of mouth. Girls Aloud really owe me. I must be responsible for 30-40% of their album sales, don't you think? They should show their appreciation by setting me up on a date with Nicola Roberts, the ginger one. I think she's sweet. Well, or at least a pair of tickets to one of their gigs. I will return the favor. They can have free tickets to see me at the Wib Wob.
The cashier said she would probably buy the CD and resumed her work. "I came to this till especially, because you were wearing that hat," I said. She found that amusing. Then I added, "well, actually, it was the woman before, but she swapped with you and I was already committed. Why isn't everyone wearing a witch's hat?" (in other words, why isn't someone prettier and closer to the exit wearing a hat?) As far as I could see, only this cashier was wearing a hat.
"They're party poopers," she replied. "I think the girls at the tobacco counter are wearing theirs," she added. Big deal, I don't smoke.
I had trouble getting the plastic shopping bag open, so I could pack my purchases. Some of the cashiers pre-open some bags for the customers, but this witch was too busy reading the backs of customers' CDs to bother. I got so annoyed with it, I paid with the wrong card. I used my Debit card, when I had planned on using my credit card. Oh well. "I am glad you guys had thegirlss Aloud album, because this way, I didn't have to go to more than one store," I informed the witch. Outside, I rushed over to my car. I placed my bag on the back seat, behind the driver's seat, as usual, then I fished Girls Aloud out of the bag. I opened the boot (trunk, in American), then took the changer chassie out of my six-stack, CD changer. Which disc to remove to make room for GA? What's this one? Emma Bunton? No, that must stay. Wrong end. NWA? Yes, that can come out. Girls in, chassie back in changer, close trunk (boot, they say boot, here). I started the engine, then hit the power button for my car stereo. The display said, "checking CDs." Hurry up! I started backing out of my space. Then, just as I was on my way towards the exit, the intro to "Sounds of the Underground" came wafting from the car's speakers. All was right with the world.
Happy Halloween!


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