Supermarket shopping is best done early in the day while it’s peaceful. It’s a time when check-out girls are at their quietest, preparing themselves for a hectic day while their first customers read labels and decipher instructions written in several languages. It’s browsing time, without the rush.
So you can imagine how I felt when a burly black woman with a cell phone glued to her ear moved to stand beside me. Dressed in black, with wild woolly black hair that seemed to lift off when she moved, she was a big woman with a big voice. Most people hold private phone conversations in hushed voices but not this one. Oh dear me no. She bellowed hers to all who couldn’t escape from listening. I’d dearly love to know who was at the other end.
Anyway, the gist of the conversation showed her disgust with someone who seemingly had ill treated another mysterious person, thereby raising the wrath of my fellow shopper. I use the word ‘fellow’ loosely even though she was built like an Amazon warrior and probably had muscles to match.
I moved away but I could still hear her booming diatribe several aisles away.
We met up again by the fish counter and that was where fish wife came to mind. By now she was describing how she would get her own back on the person in question, who seemed to have a name beginning with F, as did all the things she was going to do to the perpetrator of this terrible crime. There were other expletives but the F word seemed to be favourite. I guess I should have been grateful for small mercies.
So it went on, and on, until eventually we arrived at the check-out. I must have been in the store a good three-quarters of an hour … it’s what I call a deafening experience.
She joined a short line next to mine. I had chosen a smiling check-out girl to assist me while the Queen Boudicca look-alike opted for a male. These people obviously knew her because when she told the guy to ‘shut his gob’ while he served her he merely smiled. Not once did she move the cell from her ear. Whoever was at the other end must have been privy to all the goings-on at the check-out.
She actually got served before me… I guess me and my gal were too interested in what might happen next. An elderly woman behind me was overwrought by the bad language. Honestly, she was so distressed her face nearly matched her salmon coloured coat. She vowed never to go to the supermarket again on a Wednesday. Me neither, I thought. After Boudicca waltzed away from her section, still yapping loudly on the phone, I asked my cashier if she’d seen her before. The answer was yes, but it was the first time the cell phone had been in use. Indeed, she said the staff looked forward to their little bit of entertainment on Wednesdays.
So remember when you next walk into a quiet supermarket … all may not be as it seems.