Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Shopping With Nando

I went downstairs for a late brunch, this afternoon and discovered the Exotic Flower sitting in the lounge, talking on her mobile. There was no sign of M1, much to my pleasure. Going into the kitchen and preparing my meal, it soon became evident to me that the person she was talking to was most likely her mother. I overheard the Flower saying that she was suffering from a sore throat. Awwww...poor little Flower. It didn't take long for me to microwave two thin hot dogs. When I have the thin ones, I put two in one hot dog bun. For my usual brunch, I had cole slaw and potato salad to go with my hot dog.
Taking my food into the lounge, I sat on the settee farthest from the TV, where I usually sit. The Flower was in her usual position, on the middle settee. If she wanted privacy, she'd have to go somewhere else. Still, she didn't seem bothered about me listening to her on the phone, while I ate. When I first came downstairs she had the Sky TV on menu, but while I was cooking (if you can call a minute in the microwave cooking), she had selected a program she likes, "So You Think You Can Dance." She and M1 had spent the night over her parents, on Christmas. They didn't come home until very late, yesterday, so I had gone a couple of days without watching TV with the exotic beauty. Suddenly, she terminated the conversation with her mother, in a huff. She had mentioned that the after Christmas sales were on at the shops. A friend of hers works at some store in Camberley, a nearby town. After reminding her mother that Camberley had a better selection of shops than Bracknell, her mother said she and the Flower's aunt were going to go shopping in Camberley. The Flower wanted to go along, but her mother wanted to leave immediately. The Flower had just gotten up and thought she needed time to get ready. Such are the trials and tribulations of being a young, unemployed beauty.
Nando was off today and he was the next one downstairs. He still looked half asleep, with what little hair he still has on the top of his head all tussled. The Flower likes Nando, not realizing that he finds her annoying. As Nando rummaged in the kitchen, making himself a bacon sandwich, M1 finally came downstairs. He could have stayed upstairs, for all I care. The Flower started complaining to M1 that it wasn't fair that her mother and aunt were going shopping in Camberley, without her, when it was the Flower's idea. "If it wasn't for me reminding my Mum, they wouldn't be going," she said with exasperation. M1 seemed less than sympathetic and complained that he didn't have any petrol in his car. Then they started bickering over some money. M1 claimed the Flower owned him £10 from the night before, while she refuted this. Their dispute was interrupted by her mother calling back. The Flower whined that she wanted to go shopping in Camberley with her mother. I tuned out much of the ruckus, savoring my hot dog. In the end, the Flower's mother agreed to wait while the Flower got ready. They would all go shopping together. I missed out on the opportunity to offer to drive with her.
In a little while, M1 and the Flower went out, leaving me and Nando at home. I continued watching "So You Think You Can Dance," even after the Flower had gone. "Why you still watching this crap?" Nando inquired.
"It's great," I exaggerated. I couldn't get Nando interested in the program. After he ate, he went upstairs for a bit. Soon, he came back down the stairs and it sounded like he was dressed to go out. I could hear what sounded like keys jingling. "Are you going out?" I asked. Nando told me he was going to Sainsbury's and asked me if I wanted anything. I was running low on hot dog buns and considered asking him to get me some. "Do you mind if I go with you?" I figured if I went with him, I might find some bargains and it would save me starting my own car. Nando agreed that I could join him. I hurriedly put on socks and shoes. I combed my hair and brushed my teeth. It would be good to get out of the house, as I hadn't been out since Friday.
As we walked into Sainsbury's, Nando went to get a trolley. "are you going to do that much shopping?" I questioned him.
"I can't be bothered with a basket," he replied. I preferred a hand basket, the sign of the bachelor. As we walked into the store, he walked straight ahead, into the organic vegetable section. He wasn't buying organic vegetables, he was just cutting through to the refridgerated section, behind fruit and vegetables. I told him I would catch up with him and veered off to the right to check the reduced to clear section in the fruit and veg department. I picked up a few bargains there. Some button mushrooms, carrots, and salad that were all marked down because they had reached their sell by date. Nando and I kept coming across each other, as we each followed our own shopping agenda. At one point, as he was passing me at the canned goods reduced to clear section, I pointed out to him that canned, chopped tomatoes, of a brand he likes, were marked down. He picked up two cans. Then I lost sight of him. I don't think he has the knack for finding bargains that I do. When I finished, I looked for him.
Eventually, I spotted Nando pushing his trolley toward me. I had completed my sweep of the store before he did. I walked with him as he picked up a few more items, then we went to the checkout aisles. Nando went for the first one, manned by and elderly man. I considered whether to follow Nando, or go to another aisle, with a female cashier. All the other aisles had longer lines and I decided that the quickest would be to go behind Nando. I had been waited on by this old man, before, but not for a long time. I engaged him in conversation and he was off, telling me stories. He was a retired engineer and working at Sainsbury's part-time. Nando wasn't interested and merely packed his carrier bags, loading them into his trolley. Nando went on ahead after he paid, to buy some cigarettes at the tobacco counter. A tall, slim, attractive blond woman, with short hair, came up to the checkout aisle, while the old man was telling me a joke. I totally lost track of what he was saying, as I looked at this woman. She took absolutely no notice of me. Politely, I waited for the old guy to finish what he was saying, then bade him farewell and went off looking for Nando.
Nando wasn't in the line for the tobacco counter, so I went outside. I hoped I hadn't kept him waiting for me. Darkness had fallen, while we were shopping. I struggled to remember where he'd parked. All of a sudden, I heard a familiar voice call out, "Joseph!" It was Nando, packing his bags, from his trolley into his car.
As I walked up to the car, I said, "I couldn't remember where you had parked."
"I couldn't remember either," he said. "I looked for you."
"You parked in a different area to where I usually park," I told him. "I want to get home before the girl (the Flower) get's home," I added.
"Why you want to do that?"
"I don't want to miss out on watching TV with her," I explained. "Plus, if I get home first, then I control the remote." Nando laughed at me and drove us home.
When we got back to the house, M1 and the Flower still weren't back. As we put our shopping away, Nando asked me if I like lasagne. "Everybody likes lasagne," I replied. Nando said he was in the mood for lasagne and offered to share it with me, if I wanted. A free dinner? Sure, I was up for that. I think it was easier for him to make enough for two, than to try to scale down for one. Nando and I rarely go shopping together and he rarely cooks for me. Tonight, we had both.


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