Well, not toxic, exactly... maybe just a little bit rank. But in a nice way. With a garnish.

Friday, January 06, 2006

till tussle

I went shopping.

All I wanted was a jar of coffee and a bottle of bitter lemon but it seemed to be turning into something more sinister.

Tesco Metro is less than 5 minutes walk from my house which is handy... but they never have more than around half the tills open... and always queues and queues of students laden down with cheap plastic bread and cartons of orange juice. Generally the queuing time is around a quarter of a millimetre growth of leg stubble.

I don't know what happened to the 'One in Front' policy, they seem to be ignoring it. 'One person in front of you? We'll open another till!'
Another till, my arse.
Someone should tell Prunella Scales.

I picked what looked like the shortest queue and, stepping over the basket left in the aisle, joined the back of it.
As a recent Argos customer, I am now a professional queuer. I assumed my Queuing Face and switched my brain to tickover.


I became aware of someone rejoining their basket and edging their way into my personal space. WAY into my personal space. Elbow-pressed-in-ribs kind of intrusion. While pretending not to.
It was EvilQueuePushing Woman.

I could feel the glares. In the same way you can feel your insides cooking if you stand too close to the microwave. Pulsing waves of glares.
I think the side of my neck became the most despised side-of-neck in the building.

I pretended not to notice.


I edged half a shoe-length forward.

EvilQueuePushing Woman tried to cut me up by kicking her basket forward and pressing into my arm.

I stared in an unconcerned way at the ceiling and looked thoughtful.

We continued in this weirdy siamese-nemesis shuffle, inch by inch. Me, pretending not to have noticed her. Her, trying to outwit me and push in at every available basket-skidding dirty look.

We reached the checkout and I dumped my shopping firmly on the conveyor belt, claiming my position as rightful ruler and heir of er.. The World. That'll teach her.
Like stone, she refused to let me by so clambering over her basket I paid for my wares and chatted cheerfully to the bloke on the checkout.
He was Somali or Algerian or something and barely spoke a word of English... plus it destroyed my record of being the most grumpy customer in the history of Tesco Metro... but this particular battle could not be lost.
I chatted like my life depended on it.

By now EvilQueuePushing Woman was scowling so loudly I could feel my skin crawling. I packed my shopping and chatted some more.

Then she did it. She hurled herself at me as I turned to leave, knocking me sideways and catching me off-guard.
I ignored her once again.

I limped out the shop trying to look cool and frantically thinking of loads of clever, witty and disarming things I wished I'd said to her...


  • At January 06, 2006 11:05 pm, Blogger S.I.D. said…

    I love a good queue push.

    One of lifes little pleasures.

    Especially when I win,which I ALWAYS DO!

  • At January 06, 2006 11:48 pm, Blogger Sniffy said…

    You should've punched her, started a really good scrap and got yourself on national news. Now that would've been worth seeing.

    I think in this situation, it's best to confront the person: stare them straight in the eye and snarl "BACK OFF!"

    Always happy to help.

  • At January 07, 2006 12:52 am, Blogger Kyahgirl said…

    You people have raised queueing to an art form. I tip my hat to you.
    (You could almost say its a full contact sport!)

  • At January 07, 2006 10:23 am, Blogger funny thing said…

    I won the queue push but not the contact bit at the end.

    I will hunt her down and take her out with a swift chop at the side of the neck.

    Will that do?

  • At January 07, 2006 5:28 pm, Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said…

    Victory is yours!

    If you do make it a contact sport, you could release a range of elbow pads, shin guards etc, a book of quotations from the pro's (Tina, s.i.d, your good self) and get yourself in the next Olympics. In fact, I think I'm giving it a go next time I'm in that Hellish place...

    Oh, and thanks for the link.

  • At January 07, 2006 8:41 pm, Blogger garfer said…

    The Glaswegian kiss is a useful technique in such situations.

    Failing that, a Paddington hard stare can sometimes be effective (but not very often).

  • At January 07, 2006 9:52 pm, Blogger funny thing said…

    Is the Glaswegian kiss something to do with head-butting?

  • At January 07, 2006 10:04 pm, Blogger garfer said…

    Aye Jimmy, aye.


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