Monday, July 18, 2005

Like Dylan In The Movies 

On Sunday morning I saw creepy Keith from accounts in Morrisons.
He was wearing a linen suit, with bandana and black winklepicker boots. Sunglasses nestled atop a thick crop of curly hair. He looked like Bob Dylan circa Don’t Look Back, dressed up as the man from Delmonte for a day of peace, love and fruit canning at Haight Astbury.
A sulky little girl, maybe ten or eleven years old, followed a few yards behind. She looked old enough to hate her Dad already, and was emphatically not wearing flowers in her hair.

Needless to say, I did my utmost to avoid him and it occurred to me that work colleagues could be categorised thus: the ones you would go up to for a chat if you saw them in the supermarket at the weekend, and those you wouldn’t.

I know I give her a lot of stick, but I do have a certain affection for Stella, my eighties style yuppie witch of a team leader. Yes, I’m sure I would pop over and say hi, and I’m certain she’d do the same.
Her trolley would be full of makeup and Chardonnay and I’d probably find her in the magazine aisle, fretfully filling out questionnaires of the “OK, so you’re a great lay, but does anybody actually like you?” variety.
The answer is yes, Stella, I do like you. I admire your blithe spirit in the face of overwhelming reality, and your ballsy indifference to the same gloom that frequently swamps me. I envy your drive.
I just wish you’d sometimes slow down a bit, to notice and revel in the absurdity of everything everywhere, and perhaps get a new wardrobe. You could be the real deal. But lose the self help books, OK? They only exist to make you feel crap.

Terry and Tabs definitely pass the supermarket test. Terry would have loaded up on curry sauce and naan breads, while Tabs would be all fresh fruit and soft furnishings.
She would tell you what a nice evening she’d had yesterday, with some girly friends round for a DVD and a sleepover, while Terry would tell you how he was killing aliens into the early hours and how him and this German kid and some guy called Monster Mash from Croyden totally kicked ass, it was mega.
Terry and Tabs had the most convoluted and frankly unlikely courtship ever in the history of getting it on, which is summarised in an hilarious clip show episode here.

Neil, my former team leader, would be too busy chasing the manager around the building and shouting “Do you have frog’s legs? Well? Do you?” The issue would never arise. Boxes and boxes of croutons.

Mike and I would exchange cursory nods, but no more. Mars bars, beer and man-size tissues.

Bill Surname, Chief Executive Officer, has a man to do that sort of thing for him. Expensive whiskey and cheeses.

Charlotte, Bill’s loyal PA, I would avoid at all costs. She would talk incessantly about her problems and how the medication isn’t working and later say that it was, and just as you were about to finally pull yourself away from her, she would say, “Oh I’m sorry. Who did you say you were?” Catfood, a half size loaf of bread and prescription sleeping pills.

Ash and Zippy wouldn’t be in the supermarket. They’d be outside pulling stunts on their skateboards. I’d probably go and say hi, but would feel a bit shy if they were with all their cool skatepunk mates.

Diana, Head of Marketing. Obviously. Fresh cut flowers, sun tan lotion and oven ready chips.

Spike the security guard claims he never goes to supermarkets. His wife works at Asda and he says she nicks all they need.

This morning creepy Keith came up to me and said “Oi! I said hello to you yesterday and you completely blanked me.”
I genuinely hadn’t noticed. I would never to do that to anyone. Honestly.
He said he was down here running some errands for his Mum who’s not well, and we had a bit of a chat about this and that, and god damn it, for a while there he had me feeling guilty.

What kind of person have I become? A snob who turns his nose up at colleagues and sniffily avoids them in supermarkets because they might cramp his style?
No Keith, I couldn’t possibly talk to you, even if your mother is on her way out, I’m far too important for that now. Don’t you read the papers? Ring my secretary and see if she can find a window for you next week.

Then he asked if I’d noticed the girl working in the fruit and veg aisle, how well stacked she was - “I’d certainly like to test her fucking melons for juiciness and flavour, etc.” - and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, the natural order of things was restored, and once again all was well in the world.

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