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Checkout chaos

I was daydreaming in the queue for the checkout, arms folded, glazed eyes fixated on the huge window poster; a photograph collage advertising a rather smart looking white-washed wooden radiator cover and a pretty lady on a step ladder, wielding a hammer drill. I wondered if we could make room for a white-washed wooden radiator cover in our already full little house; perhaps I could somehow move the enormous corner sofa away from the radiator and out into the room to make…

“Excuse me” a concerned looking lady interrupted my peaceful daydream, her hand resting softly on my elbow.

“Huh?” I said, “Oh, sorry, I was in another world for a moment.”

“Do those belong to you?” She asked.

I hesitated for a moment, looking along the chaotic assortment of Aldi groceries on the conveyor belt, trying to work out what she could be talking about.

“Pardon me?”

The lady smiled, pointed and nodded her head toward the long shelf beneath the supermarket windows, the shelf designed for packing shopping away into shopping bags, about three feet or so off the floor. Heck. I’d forgotten completely about the boys in my peaceful moment.

There they were, Lyall stood perilously up on the shelf, having what can only be described as a silent disco, eyes closed, tongue sticking out a little, concentrating very hard, dancing with his arms waving over his head, a little bit like one of those inflatable men outside American car showrooms. Richard on the other hand was standing still (on the ground, thank goodness), hands in his pockets, looking very guilty.

“Get down from there!” I screamed over to Lyall, everybody in the supermarket now watching as Lyall crouched down like a ski jumper, knees bent and arms straight down behind him. “Don’t you da…”

And off he went, launching himself dangerously off the shelf into the air, landing with a huge shove into Richard who naturally made a big, dramatic, unnecessary scene; throwing himself to the ground like an injured footballer.

I mouthed a quiet “Oh my god” to the lady, left my place in the queue and rushed over to the boys. I picked them both up off the floor by the hoods of their coats. I tutted, shook my head and dragged them back to the queue line where the kind lady had reserved my space.

“They’re lovely boys” she said, calmly. Realising that I still had their hoods in my hands, the boys suspended rather uncomfortably, I released them from my grasp to which they both very theatrically fell back to the floor like ragdolls. I smiled and said, “Thank you. Are they?”

After we’d paid for all the shopping, I gave Richard a huge box of washing powder and Lyall a big four-pinter of milk to carry, picked up the three full shopping bags of groceries and nudged everybody toward the slidey doors out to the car park.

“I love you lads,” I said with a deep breath, shaking my head and rolling my eyes. “Love you too, daddy” came the familiar, high-pitched, charming replies. Looking back for a moment, the nice lady gave us all a subtle smile and a wave.


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