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Shopping hell ! August 7, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.

It’s a slow news day so I thought I’d post one of the more popular pieces I’ve written over the past year …


It’s a dilemma that every one of us has faced !  It’s Friday evening and anxious to get the weekend underway, you pop into the local supermarket for a few essentials.  Upon returning to the checkout area, you are confronted by utter carnage.  Queuing and the orderly concept of same is entirely lost on Irish people.

I think a lot of it might stem from innocence on the part of some of the older members of our society.  Enter the busy, determined little oul wan !  She arrives at the queue at the same time as you, trolley wheelie laden with items.  She didn’t get a regular trolley because sure, she was only gettin’ a fucking tonne of a few “messages” !   With a seemingly cursory glance at the queues, she sizes up her chances while unknowingly you are just stood there thinking you might as well stay in the queue you are in because its just as fast …

That’s how she gets you !  You persist with you original choice of queue and begin to get anxious when it beings to slow down.  The three people in front of you have all got baskets and the woman at the top of the queue has scuttled off to pick up some sugar – she went to the till first, you understand and then went to get the sugar while the counter assistant was beeping her groceries through …  sure wasn’t the sugar near the checkout !

Meanwhile, the old woman is making steady progress through the hordes at her queue and you decide to nip over and join the end of her line – its moving more quickly after all.  Then it happens – the seemingly brilliant strategist, the queue hopping, wheelie trolley toting oul wan gets to the front of your queue.  And all hell breaks loose …

 She has forgotten to get some dog food for her poor pooch so she scuttles off, oblivious, announcing where she is going at the same time as doing it … 5 minutes later she comes back with one tin of dog food and places it on the counter – suddenly the checkout girl stands up and says that the oul wan has forgotten to weigh her 2 oranges and she goes and does it for her.  You look up and your old queue is flying ! 

However, you are next in line to the oul wan and don’t want to make the same mistake twice so stay put !  WRONG !  When the total is rung up, out come the tokens and coupons.  First comes the glasses, then the bag, then the purse, then the tokens … the coupons are taken care of and the purse goes back into the bag.  It has just hit the bottom of the bag, when she realises that she needs the money that is in the purse so out comes the glasses, up goes the bag and out comes the purse again.  The cashier tells her the total. 

She rummages in her purse and then in the bottom of the bag and eventually holds out her palm with a huge pile of shrapnel in change before her … “Can you see what I have there ?” she says to the cashier, who not having an adequately solid grasp of the woman’s dialect, looks at her as if she has three heads.  You are so engrossed in the unbelievability of the situation that you don’t care you are late for work – you just want to see this thing through !

Eventually, it all comes to a head and you offer to help the lady with her shopping by packing it into her wheelie trolley but she politely refuses saying she can manage herself !  And then to top it all off, the cashier starts beeping things from your basket through before the bloody oul wan has half her stuff off the counter …

You run for the door, transaction completed in the time it’d nearly take to circumbloodynaviagate the planet, thinking you’ll have to take a quick taxi back to work only for the said oul wan to have magically transformed into a merely semi-wretched oul wan who steals the cab from under your nose.

You make a note to self to make your wife agree that if she ever sees you do something like that oul wan, she’ll have you put in a home !



1. francis mahon - August 7, 2007

Oops, I must have been asleep at the keyboard when I managed to post this comment to the previous post…

Ah, the trick is to use the self-service till. The aul’ wans are scared of them! Tesco have them in my local store, but don’t know if any of the other chains have them yet…

The staff cringe when I approach one of the self-service units, because, despite my enormous technical nous, the damn things are guaranteed not to work for me. It’s like some sort of machine telepathy! So now I am offered the rare privilege of having one of the staff put my purchases through the self-service for me!

2. Rambling Man - August 7, 2007

you can break tills by looking at them ? useful guy to have around …

another horrible performance by the purple and gold on sunday !

3. francis mahon - August 7, 2007

Ah stop! Absolutely woeful! Don’t think I’ll be writing any poetry about the current shower of “hurlers”…

The show Waterford put on cheered me up immensely though, and I was actually smiling leaving Croker!

4. Den Arnold - August 7, 2007

Very interesting. I find your style of writing to be a bit different than mine, but excellent in its own right. As an introduction, I am Dennis Arnold and I am also known as The Rambling Man. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. My writings are known as “Friday Rambles” due to the fact I only post something to my website http://www.theramblingman.com once a week, appropriately enough on Friday. Please stop by my site and have a look around. I plan to stop back by here often.
From one Rambling Man to another

My Regards Dennis Arnold

5. Hangar Queen - August 9, 2007

Brilliant post and Oh so true.
I’m surprised she didn’t decide to write a cheque at the till too.Those feckers need their livers bitten out of them.

6. Rambling Man - August 10, 2007

steady on devin ! i thought long and hard about administering a short, swift slap to her facial area but calmness got the better of me. but their livers ? well ok maybe one of her kidneys but not the liver …

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