Monday, 11 February 2008

It’s very simple. It is love.

Sally’s eyes are down, appearing to focus on the scrap of paper she is holding between her thumb and forefinger whilst the rest of her hand is trying to guide the trolley around the promotional display of toilet rolls. The left back wheel clips the wooden pallet but she doesn’t falter. She has inwardly registered the impact which has caused the eggs to slip off the pizzas but she resists looking up in case she makes eye contact with anyone. Better to look so engrossed as not to be disturbed or better still, not even recognised.

There’s a strange atmosphere in the store today. There is music playing, Elvis, and it’s quite hard to concentrate. She has just passed an elderly gentleman singing ‘I’m caught in a trap, I can’t get out’; for this, she did glance up. Something else. There’s a bird perched on top of one of the chiller cabinets and no one is paying it any attention. She stops to see if it’s real and it flies off towards Aisle 24.

As her gaze follows its flight path, she notices that there’s a flurry of activity around Aisle 22. A crowd of raincoated, jostling torsos, some supported by sticks poised for jousting, leaning towards the reduced chilled foods section, heads drawn down like magnets towards the yellow stickers. The ambient reduced display never attracts the same curiosity from passing shoppers; buying a squashed box of cat biscuits is not such a coup as being savvy enough to pick up a cottage pie for lunch for fifty pence. Such greed and indulgence comes cheap. Sally will not be tempted by special offers, chilled, hot food to go or ambient. Sally stays on the straight and narrow and buys what she came for.


Sarah Salway said...

I love surreal in the supermarket!

Kathryn said...

I think supermarkets are funny places. I think I could write a whole book on weird supermarket experiences...