I dread going to our local DIY store, not only is it incredibly boring it doesn't really get along with me. First you can't find anything, then they don't have what you need and thirdly if you ask any of the numerous members of staff where anything is they reply with 'Over there' and flick their wrists over their shoulders in the general direction of the rest of the world. Add to that being accused of buying yacht varnish to sniff, accused of shoplifting when a self service till went haywire and being sprayed by an errant hosepipe with a leak my experience with this particular place has not been sweet.
Anyway, undaunted yesterday I decided to top up my wood stock as I am now ready to start several new paintings and buy a few other sundry items, oh, and I wanted someone to be really rude to me and I knew they were good at that.
I grabbed a trolley, the only trolley available that would handle the wood, you know the type uncontrollable with high sides that can barely squeeze down the aisles and need a twety six point turn at ever corner. I dragged it into the store and on to the hard floor.
Squeak, squeak, SQUEAK! As it hit the harder floor in the store it developed a bit of a noise, almost like I was wheeling it over a set of bagpipes. The noise amplified by the metal surround was loud, incredibly loud in fact and many shoppers looked around in disgust.
'Go get a different one, that's shocking' said Jayne. I whimpered a little and looked around but none could be seen. 'Try over there' she pointed over at the gardening department. I left my chariot of delights and saunted over to the rows of plant food and wellingtons. As I wandered around the gardening equipment looking at nothing in particular but looking everywhere I felt somebody behind me, turning around I found a large gentleman turn away and pick up a packet of seeds. Odd, I thought, what's his problem?
I hurried on and walked briskly up to the weed killers. He followed me, not that he let me notice for he was too shrewd for that he walked along a different aisle to get in front of me and pretended to be looking at something else when I reached the end of mine. 'Why me, why the bloody weirdo' I thought to myself and cleverly doubled back, braking into a little trot to put some distance between me and him, I reached the composts far quicker than I thought and crouched down looking over the top of the bags for my pursuer completely forgetting my trolley errand.
'Can I help you sir?' A stern voice from behind me asked none too politely according to the tone. Anyway to cut a long story short I was led back to Jayne by the security guard who had been following me as he thought I was 'not a real customer' due to my demeanor and lack of a) partner b) interest and c) trolley.
Oh, it gets better, that was just the start.
I pushed along the squeaky trolley which had now developed a slight limp and pulled to the right, a fresh bump started off the back wheels crying out for help. Jayne said 'Nm Adan admnnmani', at least it sounded something like that over the noise, when I stopped so I could hear she had actually said 'Leave the bloody thing here for heavens sake' or words to that effect. 'But dearest, I need it for the wood' I pleaded, 'well push it slower then, it's deafening'. I trundled along, the slower speed changed the noise to a low whine but at least I wasn't getting any more 'looks' from Jayne.
'You go and get the wood, I'm going to see if they have any dish washer salt for the winter' and with that she whooshed away. I'd better explain, dish washer salt is cheaper and more efficient than the bags of salt and grit you buy at extortionate prices, a simple cupful of the large chunks does wonders to snow and ice in winter, just thought I would clarify that in case you thought we only used a dishwasher in winter and did something silly and arty with our washing up in the summer like hanging them on clothes pegs and the like. Don't actually know why I needed to explain that, anyhow, I whined, squeaked and trundled off to the timber store.
I take advantage of the free cutting service so buy big sheets and have them cut to size, it's bad enough manhandling these large pieces as they are heavy and flexible so imagine my dismay as I held on to one of these things and they opened the delivery doors opposite. Whoosh went the wind, whee! Went me as it blew me over and into the bags of cement, as my knees buckled the wood hit me under the jaw practically snipping my tongue in half. Wow, that hurt, I thought to myself as I steadied my legs and made a turn for the trolley. Another gust turned me a little too quickly and my knuckles rapped against the metal and my grip loosened dropping the corner onto my toe.
Ballcocks! Or something similar I muttered as I slid the wood into the trolly, 'what idiot puts a delivery door next to all the large sheets of w...' The next word was a combination of wood and something to do with anchors as the trolley now laden with wood turned as a fresh gust whistled up the aisle and ran over my shoes then trundled away at quite a clip with its new found sail crashing into the decorative trims.
I'm sat here writing this not really believing that it has happened, it's so absurd it's unreal, Jayne only left me for a few minutes and not only am I nearly wrecking the joint but I'll probably be on YouTube CCTV footage filed under 'Worst Trolley Shopper EVER'
Whimpering I pushed the trolley along to the free cutting bay where two assistants had much to my further dismay been watching my trolley sailing. I knew this because they burst out laughing as I approached and pointed to my trolley which made me feel so small the trolley wheels could have crushed me.
'Could you cut this for me please?' I asked, trying to regain a bit of authority in my voice. Normally I'd expect, 'yes sir, now would you like it cut' or 'no problem, how would you like it cut?' instead I got 'What's wrong with you, got no saw at home?' I stood gobsmacked, 'pardon?' I said not really believing what I had just heard. 'Not got a saw or just lazy?' he repeated obviously thinking it was the worlds best joke as he tilted his head back to his assistant friend. 'No, I thought I would get you to do some work you lazy sod instead of standing about moaning that you have a crap job and whilst we are at it maybe you should consider that maybe, just maybe you are a pillock' I said but he didn't hear that because I said it in my head, what he actually heard was 'just into three equal pieces please'
Muttering to myself I put the freshly cut wood back onto the trolley, he was cutting the last piece and noticed he had placed it incorrectly so decided to square it all up by cutting a strip away that was nearly an inch wide. 'Excuse me, I'm buying that, you've just took an inch off!'.
'No I didn't'
'Yes you did, it's there on the floor next to your feet'
'No it isn't'
'Yes it bloody is!'
There followed a Monty Pythonesque pantomime episode culminating in the retrieval of the said one inch strip where upon out of nowhere the security guard from earlier appeared.
'Well yes, he's just trimmed an extra inch off my wood so one panel is smaller!'
'No Sir, I was asking him.' and he pointed to the cutting assistant.
Jayne returned, apparently I was being awkward. Jayne led me away clutching my one inch strip talking about robbing dogs or something similar.
The trolley left a black greasy mark over the front of my shoes which I'm just about to try and scrub out over the sink, I had nightmares last night that I was being chased by a bagpipe playing trolley manned by security guards using a wooden sail. It's no wonder I have a thin grasp on reality most of the time, reality sucks!