Sunday, 16 December 2012

Thinking about Thoughts

Maybe we should call the 'Thought for the Day' slot 'Thought for When We Can Get Around To It' because by rights there should be a new one every day. But unlike the Beeb, The Pangolin can’t call upon a small army of clerics, semi-clerics and Generally Good People to leap into the time breach with a daily thought. Of The Pangolin staff, only two actually have thoughts. The rest are fully occupied with trying to remember how a light switch works or which way round to face when sitting at a desk. Most were headhunted from BT.

Anyway, I do actually have a thought for today. Its something I’ve banged on about elsewhere, but as soon as I’ve finished this, I’m off to Tesco. To be fascinated by humankind.

It all starts in the carpark which is dominated by slow moving cars cruising. Looking for a spec nearest the door. Next is the Big Wait behind some numbskull who wants to buy seven different scratch cards, have a barrow-load of Lottery tickets checked, and exchange a slow cooker which is dinged. Huh. Beware men who keep their money in purses. All I want is a packet of fags. Disgraceful.

Then its into the maw. TV ads call it “in–store”. Hmmm. Its directional chaos. This happens to lots of people if you give them a shopping trolley sans a GPS device. They’re all over the place. U–turns, completely unpredictable changes of direction, and the mindless ability to block an aisle whilst gossiping with friends, ("Oooh, ‘ello. How’s your Jakki [or Traci, or Debbi]) or search for pineapple and mango low-fat yoghurts in the pie section.

But the worst by a long way are the older shoppers who lean on their trolley handles with their elbows, giving the trolley little steering and a 35 foot turning circle. Old ladies, jaws thrust forward take no prisoners, never say excuse me, and never wait their turn.

And when its over and you return to your car, you can’t get in it because there’s a bloody Micra or a Suzuki Wagon R parked so close you can’t use the driver’s door. Once, and only once, whilst I was entering my car via the passenger door, the owner of the Berlingo which was blocking my driver’s door actually arrived back at his vehicle. I stopped doing gearstick avoidance contortions and got out. I asked him to move his car. “Why?”, he asked. I told him. “Oh I won’t be long” he said. So I counted to ten 47 times and waited. As he drove away, against the traffic arrows (you get to the exit quicker that way), I noticed that he’d left his shopping trolley in the parking space he’d just left.


  1. I should like to be introduced to the lady in this photograph. My cash reserves are dwindling, but I can offer teabags in payment. And £5.00. In cash.

  2. Sadly, since publishing the piece above, the lady portrayed, a Mrs Hilda Wormwood ,collapsed and died in the Fresh Meat and Sausages aisle.

  3. Was that supposed to put me off? If so, it hasn't worked.


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