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12:55pm on Saturday, 14th May, 2011:

A Trip to Sainsbury's


We had an interesting trip to Sainsbury's today. I took my younger daughter with me as she wanted a photograph so she could send off for a provisional driving licence. There were four strange occurrences...


We didn't know where the photo-me booth was, so asked the guy at the customer service desk. He had a facial twitch. It was one of those twitches that serial killers get when you ask them about their mother. He pointed out where the photo-me booth was quite matter-of-factly, as if there was no way he was going to be waiting inside it with an axe when we got there. Then he twitched.


There was this woman in the cold meat aisle who kept cooing, like a pigeon. She had her kids with her, and when she talked she had a completely different voice, but mid-way through speaking she'd suddenly make this cooing noise. At first we thought it must have been one of the kids, but no, it was her. That's not something you come across every day.


At one point, I was standing still with the trolley while my daughter went off to get something. This boy — he must have been aged about 6 — came wandering along behind his parents, not really looking where he was going. I could see there was a danger he'd walk into the trolley, and that's exactly what happened: he clipped it with his shoulder. "Oww!" he shouted, indignantly, as if it was me who'd clipped him. His parents paid no attention — I reckon they'd got used to the fact he's a bit of a clod.


The twitching guy wasn't there. He was probably in the car park putting body parts in the boot of a car.

The photo-me booth was £5 for 5 pictures. You get three pictures and choose the best one. My daughter hates having her picture taken in them, because they keep issuing instructions it's impossible to get right. The first photo looked great, but the photo-me's voice said it wasn't passport-compliant. She took photo number 2. When the shutter clicked, she was looking straight into the camera lens; then she looked up at me. Somehow, the photo-me camera managed to turn that into this:

The voice said not to smile. The third photo came out well, but we eventually went with the first one because she didn't look like she had a frozen mustn't-move-a-muscle-or-it-will-activate-the-comedy-switch expression in it.

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).