Tag Archives: shopping

1865. Early shopping

(Dear Faithful and truly-tried Readers – sometimes it’s rainy and dull outside (it is winter here) and blogging takes on the flavour of the weather. So since I’m twiddling my thumbs I thought I’d go silly for a time – which is why my nomenclature on this blog is now Cloven Ruminant. (You can still call me Bruce – and anyway, Cloven Ruminant is better than Split-hoofed Cud-chewer). Quite a number of excellent bloggers are configured in a pseudonym so I thought I’d do the same and free myself from the shackles of expectation. Those shackles of expectation can at times be nullifying to ones creativity, so I’m breaking free! One never knows what riff-raff the cat might drag in when using another name. Incidentally, the goat gravatar is not a selfie but a picture of Billy my Goat. I’m younger and more beautiful. Anyway, here’s today’s story. Thanks – Cloven Ruminant).

Goodness! It was only July and already Malvina had finished her Christmas shopping. She had six children, five in-laws, and seventeen grandchildren. It was so much cheaper to buy suitable gifts throughout the year. Not only might they not be available closer to Christmas, but sometimes during the year things were on sale. Given the large number she had to buy for, every little saving was a great relief for Malvina.

As each gift was purchased, Malvina would wrap it carefully in Christmas paper and pencil the name of the person-to-receive. One year she had attached little cards to the gifts with the person’s name, but by the time Christmas arrived some of the cards had fallen off and she had to open the gifts to see who should get what. These days, as it neared Christmas, she would attach name cards.

And so it was! Here it was in July and already the Christmas shopping was done, the gifts were wrapped and well-hidden in a suitcase at the back of her bedroom closet. She had to hide things particularly well because all seventeen grandchildren were budding sleuths. So far, thankfully, they had never ventured into her bedroom closet.

Goodness! It was only September and already Malvina had finished her Christmas shopping. She had six children, five in-laws, and seventeen grandchildren. It was so much cheaper to buy suitable gifts throughout the year. Not only might they not be available closer to Christmas, but sometimes during the year things were on sale. Given the large number she had to buy for, every little saving was a great relief for Malvina.

Goodness! It was nearly Christmas and Malvina hadn’t even started her Christmas shopping. Usually she shopped for gifts throughout the year, but this year the time had flown. “I don’t know where the time goes to,” she said. She thought she had bought some gifts earlier, but she couldn’t find them. Usually she hid the gifts in a box in the cupboard in her garage but there was nothing there. How the years melded into one another. She must have shopped for the previous year!

1257. Next year

It was Beryl’s birthday coming up. Grandma Nola went shopping.

“Have you got any of those summer hats that fold up tiny and you can slip into your pocket?” asked Grandma Nola of the shop assistant.

“I’m sorry,” said the shop assistant, “but we’re sold out.”

“That’s alright,” said Grandma Nola. “I’ll shop for it earlier next year.”

“My granddaughter likes to go hiking. Have you got any of those silver blanket things that fold up tiny and you can slip into it and not get hypothermia if you’re lost overnight in the forest?” asked Grandma Nola of the shop assistant.

“I’m sorry,” said the shop assistant, “but we’re sold out.”

“That’s alright,” said Grandma Nola. “I’ll shop for it earlier next year.”

“Have you got any of those things you wind when you want to recharge your cell phone and there’s no power connection? Like when you’re stuck up a mountain and your cellophane’s flat and it’s an emergency,” asked Grandma Nola of the shop assistant.

“I’m sorry,” said the shop assistant, “but we’re sold out.”

“That’s alright,” said Grandma Nola. “I’ll shop for it earlier next year.”

But what Grandma Nola didn’t know was that for her there would be no next year.

1107. Murder

When Benjamin got out of bed that morning he had little idea he was going to be murdered that very day. It was six thirty. He rose, dressed, and made a morning coffee. It was to be a busy day.

He read the paper. He checked on any sent messages. He had breakfast. After that, he got in his car and drove to town. He had a list of things to do as long as his arm.

Apart from groceries, he needed some paper napkins. They were so much cheaper to purchase at the “dollar shop”. Just plain white paper napkins were fine. He wasn’t throwing a birthday party! Then right in the “dollar shop” some youths gave him cheek. “What did he want napkins for? To wipe his bum?” Benjamin tried to ignore their taunts.

Then there was a new sliding bolt for his front door. The old one was loose, and it was possible to wiggle the door back and forth a bit. There had been a spate of burglaries over the last few days apparently, so it was a good idea to change the bolt.

Cat food! He almost forgot! He had to go back to the supermarket! He next called into the phone company to pay his monthly bill. There was a discount for paying promptly.

Back home he mowed the lawn and relaxed. He even had a little snooze in the afternoon. He had a little wine before dinner as he watched the news. After that he did the dishes, watched something else on television, and around ten thirty went to bed.

893. Missed turn

893car

Apart from getting some groceries, Enid had two things to do in town that day: she had to return a book to the library, and she had to pick up a medical prescription at the pharmacy. Probably the best thing was to do these two errands first, before getting the groceries, and then she could whip off straight back home in her little blue car and not let the frozen ice cream melt.

If she turned down Hector Avenue she would come to the library first. And the pharmacy was in the mall – or just off the mall – so if she went from Hector Avenue and along Tremaine Street, she could park easily and then dash into the pharmacy.

And then there were the groceries. She had the list somewhere in her purse. At least she hope she’d put the grocery list in her purse. Once or twice over the years she’d left it at home!

“Oh! Blow!” thought Enid. With her musings she’d inadvertently passed the turn off to Hector Avenue, and now she had to rearrange the order of getting things. She would turn down Styx Street.

She turned down Styx Street. That was a pity, because she was hit by a truck and spent the rest of her days in a wheelchair.

880. A stint in town

880stint

There were so many birthdays coming up all at once. Christine had to go into town “for a considerable stint” to get it all out of the way. There were gifts for Harry, and Tess, and Lenny. There was beer to get and various items of food. And wrapping paper! She’d almost forgotten that! Imagine coming home after “a considerable stint” in town and have nothing to wrap the presents up in! And did Laughlin want to come? Was he busy? Could he lend a hand?

Laughlin was her husband.

No, he couldn’t come. He couldn’t spare the time. There was a pile of paper work to get through.

An hour or two passed, and Christine was heading back to the car loaded with packages. She should have got her keys out earlier. How could she hold all the parcels and fumble in her purse for car keys at the same time? And then she saw it…

…her husband. Walking down the steps from the entrance to a house of ill-repute. She knew it was a house of ill repute. Everyone knew it was a house of ill-repute. Her husband disappeared around a distant street corner.

Christine reached the car and drove home. Her husband was home, fussing over papers.

“Get much done?” enquired Christine.

“Lots,” said Laughlin.

Christine carried on as usual. As always.

856. The way it can be

856recipe

Quite frankly Trevor was tired of cooking for one. Since his wife had passed on, about six months earlier, he had cooked for himself. It was always rather ordinary; maybe chops or sausages, with boiled or mashed potato, and a salad.

Today it was raining. He thought it was time to make an effort. Using one of his late wife’s recipe books, he selected something delectable, and made a list of ingredients. Some of the things were already in the house, such as beef stock, and onions. But he didn’t have any caraway seeds, for example.

Off he drove to the supermarket. He needed some bacon rashes. There were so many to choose from; there was middle bacon, and shoulder bacon, and streaky bacon, and bacon pieces. The middle bacon seemed to be the cheapest, and came in packets with fewer slices. He didn’t needed twenty slices of bacon. What would he do with them? So he settled on the middle bacon packet of six.

Then he needed one small turnip, but he couldn’t find turnips anywhere. He asked one of the shop workers if there were any turnips, and they said they would check out the back. They returned and said they were out of turnips, but one small rutabaga would do the trick. So he put a small swede in his trolley (because in his country swedes are what rutabagas are called!)

Trevor had quite a bother finding the caraway seeds, but eventually he realized that the spices were alphabetical, but according to brand. And the brand he was looking at didn’t have caraway seeds, but he found them under a different brand name on a different shelf.

He needed some pork sausages, which were simple enough to find, but the shop had got all creative and had packets of pork sausages with all sorts of flavours and spices and herbs. Trevor wanted simple pork sausages. He found them hidden down the bottom of the creative pork sausage stack.

All was complete for his recipe, but he got some apples as well. Trevor went through the checkout without having to wait in line for too long. Thank heavens for small mercies, he thought. Now to remember where he’d park his car!

In the car park he was hit by a car and killed.

779. Oh for a tissue!

779tissue

It was summer. Averil didn’t have a runny nose, but she was a bit sniffly. A dab with a tissue would be adequate to satisfy her desire to attend to the matter. She could have wiped her nose on her sleeve (while no one was watching of course) but she was wearing a sleeveless light summer dress.

The trouble was, she was in the supermarket and had already piled her trolley high with the week’s groceries. She would simply have to sniffle her way through the check-out.

Suddenly, on one of the shelves, Averil spied a box of tissues. She opened it, fully intending to place it in her trolley and pay for it on the way out.

A shop “warden” saw her open the box of tissues, and marched her off to the supermarket office where she was interrogated.

“But I was going to pay for it,” said Averil. Her summer dress didn’t have a pocket and she was still holding the used tissue in her hand. She used the bin in the office.

“We’ve heard that one before,” said the “warden”. “We’re trying to stamp out thieves this summer, and you’re the first on the list. I’ve a good mind to call the police.”

After one and a half hours, Averil was dismissed with a warning. She was told never to shop there again.

Averil drove home, grocery-less, and bawling her eyes out. With not a tissue in sight.

727. There are some things

727blindness

Connie was of the generation that still believed “there are some things one does not talk about”. She was eighty-four and lived on her own. She was still quite independent, but she was going blind.

She had enough sight to enjoy a little bit of television between supper and bedtime. And she lived close enough to the supermarket to walk there. Of course, it could sometimes be hazardous crossing the road, but no matter; Connie could clearly hear the approach of oncoming traffic and knew when the coast was clear. She would dash across the road and into the supermarket.

Fortunately, having shopped there for years, she knew where everything was. Only once or twice, when a brand had changed the colour of its packaging or they had rearranged the shelves, would she get bothered. But usually shopping was a pleasure and a breeze.

This day, however, she needed some abrasive scrubbing pads for the kitchen sink. A pot had a dirty bottom. But where were these scrubbers in the shop? She knew the aisle of cleaning agents. She should be able to find a packet of them there. And she did!

The man at the checkout smiled, and said “You enjoy the rest of your day, Sweetie,” which annoyed Connie immensely as she found it condescending. Just because she was old and almost blind. She could have whacked him.

She crossed the road safely and arrived home, unpacking the groceries and using her magnifying glass… Oh goodness me! Oh goodness! How embarrassing! What would she want with those? What would she do with them?

There are some things one does not talk about.

589. Graeme does the shopping

© Bruce Goodman 22 May 2015

589keys

Trying to carry too many grocery bags (he should’ve used a trolley) Graeme somehow reached into his pocket to find the car keys.

He dropped the keys just as he was standing over a storm water grate. The keys plummeted down into the murky water.

He would phone his wife, Vera, but the phone was locked in the car.

The weather was hot. The frozen meat was defrosting; the ice cream was melting. Graeme put the bags of groceries on the ground next to the car. He burst into tears. It was the first time he had wept for years.

The truth was, his phone wasn’t in the car. It was in his pocket. He couldn’t phone his wife because she had walked out on him that morning. She’d taken the kids. That’s why he was doing the shopping on his own. Usually they went shopping together. He hoped she was alright.

A passer-by asked if anything was wrong.

“No, no, I’m fine thanks,” said Graeme.

But he wasn’t alright, was he? He was bloody terrible. He phoned the Automobile Association. They came and fixed up the car key problem.

Graeme drove home to the empty house.