30/10/2013. The following is an example of the daft things I do when my brain is addled after a day’s work.
Yesterday, I disgraced myself in the supermarket.
Being British, I love queues. They’re so ordered, so organised. I know exactly where I am in a queue, and howl derision upon anyone who has the temerity to – deep breath – queue jump. A few years ago I holidayed in Italy, and loved the place. Whenever I’m away there are always things I miss about home, and in Italy’s case these were twofold: potatoes, and queues.
Yesterday evening I nipped to the supermarket on my way to pick the bloke up from work. I whizzed round, grabbed the couple of things I needed, and was delighted to see a free checkout waiting for me. Wondering vaguely why two or three people were queuing at the adjacent checkout, I dashed to the free till and my shame descended.
‘Excuse me, you do know we’re all waiting?’ asked the man at the front of the queue, stepping forward and tapping me on the arm. I was in cloud-cuckoo-land at the time, so glibly replied that they were waiting for a different till.
‘Why would we be queuing when there’s a till free?’ asked queue-man, hackles raised.
Because you’re stupid? Before I could reply, one of the checkout operators informed me the queue was actually for both tills. Ooops!
‘See!’ said queue-man, exuding smugness. Then he added, with a derisive sniff, that I could carry on and use the checkout.
‘I do beg your pardon,’ I said humbly, realising that I’d been the stupid one, but queue-man was having none of it. He was in full magnanimous mode by this time, and repeated that I should go first.
So – I did, with one more apology for good measure. It was only when I was waiting for Andy, face still burning with shame at having queue jumped, that it dawned on me my apology would have been far more sincere had I done the honourable thing and taken my place at the back of the queue.