Saturday, 11 July 2009

Out of Stock.


I started off today with a skip to my step Tonight I cook paella for some friends. I love the stuff and as I I was given a paella pan for my birthday am keen to experiment

The shopping list is long and I have already failed with the prawns and am having to improvise with frozen seafood cocktail. I came early to this huge supermarket to avoid the crowds but my sight is blurry and I am can’t find anything and consequently I run over time. The supermarket fills with fretting families and fast-walking weekly-shop wannabies. I have my cane out but no one understands its significance and it just gets in the way of pushing a trolley. I am beginning to bash people.

Sorry sorry

Opps

Oh you go..no me. Oh ok..oh shit …

Sorry..

I need to get out now and am scanning frantically trying to find someone who can help. Unfortunately this bloody supermarket has kindly chosen to dress their stuff in understated grey and blue fleeces with the tiny logos embroidered discreetly on their chests. I can’t tell who is staff and who is shopper.

I hit the bread aisle at about 20mph and knock several stacks of prebake bagels to the floor. A woman tutts so loudly more bagels slide to the floor.
By the cheese aisle I am flagging, consider abandoning it all and cancelling supper but finally there is someone who looks morose enough to be staff and is wearing a set of key cards around their neck. I ask for chicken stock.

‘Aisle 4,’ she says and then asks if I need any more help.

‘No, no absolutely fine thanks.’ My upper lip quivers then stiffens.

I turn away with purpose but am immediately confused. I scan and scan for aisle numbers and then start running, shoving and dodging past people thinking ‘I know- I’ll just count from Aisle 1.’

Not in this shop sister.

I try being logical twice and only succeed in finding deodorant and bath gel.

And then I see the chicken aisle.
I rush forward thinking that I can grab the stock and be out of here in five blurred minutes.

I peer up at the top shelf and can see the large plastic containers and exuberantly grab the first. What I do not see is that the first is attached to the second and the second to the third and so on.

I bring down an entire shelf of chicken stock.

Three of the plastic containers burst open splashing their yellow brown contents all over the floor, the shelves, my legs and the trainers of the man standing ..now leaping backwards..next to me.

I look at him aghast and only then discover that he is absolutely gorgeous. Tall, dark intelligent eyes, shoulders to lean on and damn him, damn him..a dimple. He has said something like ‘oh dear’ quietly and kindly and looks to see if I am all right. There is my opportunity to make contact, to start something beautiful and what do I do..
I look down at our legs dripping chicken broth and say with a ghastly giggle (it’s the one I do when I meet someone I am attracted to. It is unfailingly unnerving)
‘We’re going to smell really ‘fowl’.
And then I do a kind of eye brow ‘taa daa!’.

The man’s face freezes slightly and I turn pink with embarrassment spinning around to try and wave down a helpful staff member ..when I turn back I see he has escaped. I catch a fleeting glance of his back disappearing into the veggie aisle.

I stick by the mess I have made, feeling anxious as hordes of people keep pushing their trollies through it. I don’t know why I don’t walk away ..but I don’t and moronically stand for over ten minutes directing people around the pooling mess suddenly realising that the chicken stock looks suspiciously pee like and with guilt written all over my sweaty face people are drawing their own conclusions. Eventually a man with a blue fleece, a sour expression and a yellow ‘spillage’ notice comes into my vision and I nod politely and flee.

‘Can you go slowly? I’m visually impaired’, I ask at the check out. My hands are shaking.

‘Do you want help packing then?’ Whinges the man. ‘See there is a queue and we can’t have you holding other people up....’




I wish.

10 comments:

family affairs said...

AAH. Poor you. How horrible. Hope you've got everything you need and that your fantastic paella evening with friends allows your nightmare shopping trip to pale into insignificance....

Thanks so much for all your contacts - I've sent you an email - my father would love to meet up with your contacts in Lusaka! If that is possible, like I said in the email we should meet up beforehand and then...if you need a spare arm for your shopping trip I can come and help! Lx

family affairs said...

Ps - love the "out of stock" title - just got it!! Lx

gigihawaii said...

How awful! So how was the paella? I last made seafood paella 10 years ago. Although I have a paella pan, I prefer to use the electric skillet, because it's easier to heat up uniformly. Also, it has a cover.

nmj said...

... jesus, this is funny & heartbreaking...but, really, the gorgeous man should have stayed and not fled the chicken stock spillage. damn him! & the checkpout guy should def have a swift punch to his head...i am simply jealous that you have a paella pan! x

Chimera said...

Thanks Lulu and absolutely my pleasure ( and cat like curiousity) to help with your research. let me know when ever I can help. -

And Gigi and NMJ and Lulu rest assured the paella was damn scrumptious (although I see what you mean about the skillet...) It was worth every drop of sticky sweaty chicken stock and i even managed a veggie 3-cheese potato bake whatsit and a frangapanni and blueberry pastry thingy. Masterchef!
i would love to one day cook for you all too! just let me know!
T xxx

Val said...

i am drooling at the thought of the paella! but why are people so awful tho? and why are supermarkets so traumatic generally? i am with nmj on this..
hey what news on the dog?
have a great day x

Chimera said...

Hi Val,
I meet The Bitch on Tuesday...shall let you know and thank for asking.
Yep..people are just in their own heads and spaces. I really don't look in any way sight impaired so unless I actually ask for help it wouldn't be obvious - although I agree with NMJ that pretty man should have stayed. it could have been so romantic to bond over the organic chicken thighs...
I do also hope that the post is funny - for me its key to twist it in that direction. then my memeories are lighter too! if that makes sense.
mrore soon,
T xx

ShaolinSubz said...

Hahahaha!!!

Iam sure that it was aweful experience but that was hilarious!

Yellow chicken stock, I know that look as well, that guilty look thats almost mischievious, LOL!

And you should know better, there is no logic in supermarkets, and no sympathy from supermarket zombies!

Good read T - made me laugh and think :Wink

Chimera said...

Awww taa lovely brother of mine,
Guess it would have been even more surreal in Shoprite!
Love ya,
T xx

Susan at Stony River said...

What an adventure... I sympathise with the urge to abandon mid-shop and go home to pretend it never happened! I thought your 'fowl' remark was funny: sorry you ran into a grump instead.

Congratulations anyhow on the success of the paella!