Just another day in the Co-Op

The store that claims it’s “good with food”,

In which I’ve queued and queued and queued,

And got in line, prepared to wait,

All too aware of likely fate,

Resisted the urge, the great temptation,

To ask, “Are your staff just for decoration”?

Sandra (the cashier) is working today,

But her colleagues, it seems, well…who can say?

Just one till is “on”, so I resign to stand,

With some of the strangest folk in the land,

Weasel-like man with baseball hat,

On the phone in constant chat,

Unaware, (he’s not that bright),

That I don’t want to know what he did last night,

Then a man who stinks of lager and wee,

Clutches a Snickers and grins at me,

As if he is a long-lost friend,

Not drunk and halfway round the bend,

A dotty old girl, in sheepskin coat,

From inside pocket produces a note,

I see “20 Bensons” written down,

She squints, then it becomes a frown,

“I can’t read that” she croaks at me,

“You know, next month I’m ninety-three”

I start to get that familiar feeling,

Like the blood in my veins has begun congealing,

“Cigarettes”, I shout into her ear,

“I’m sorry, but I’m a bit deaf, dear”

Then Baseball Hat behind me snaps,

And throws his pack of rustic baps,

Across the shop, like a bullet from a gun,

And smashes a bottle of finest Blue Nun,

Then all at once the boss is near,

From where he’s come I’ve no idea,

Persuaded, it seems, by breaking glass,

To interrupt lunch, get off his arse,

“You’ll pay for that, or I’ll phone the law”,

But Baseball Hat sprints out the door,

The manager, fat and red of face,

Is clearly in no shape to chase,

“Sandra, be a love, fetch a bucket and mop,

I’m off to the office to call the cops”,

So Sandra does as she is told,

And puts her customers back on “hold”,

The queue of four is down to three,

Drunk man, deaf woman, and little old me,

I close my eyes and count to ten,

And swear I’ll not come here again.

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