6 comments

Funny Happy

There was a time when leaving the house was easy. Were you dressed appropriately? Did you have an umbrella in case it rained? Keys and cash? Nothing else needed. My mother had told me about how they never even locked the doors when she was young so you didn’t need keys. Then along came the cheque book. Then the cheque book started to be replaced by cards. Loads of cards. Wallets became a lot bigger then came phones. They started off for just the very rich and were plugged in to cars. Then they were brick sized, then everyone started getting them. So it became appropriate dress, umbrella, wallet, keys and phone. Then I got older and I needed to add glasses to the list. Then we mustn’t forget earphones, originally attached to a Sony Walkman with tapes. Then CDs, then it was all digital. Then it was all on the phone and headphones became tiny and easy to lose. Then it changed again COVID hit and face masks became mandatory.


It used to be if you went to the bank wearing a mask they would be calling the police and you would be arrested for robbery. Now you get arrested for going to the bank without a mask. How exactly do the police search for suspects, ‘well officer, they were wearing a mask’. Everyone in earshot panics and starts to look for alibis. 


Now I struggle to remember everything. I am very lucky because I live on the ground floor and I can easily get in to my apartment. Don’t tell everyone. I have lost track of the amount of times my keys have been inside and I have been outside with the door locked in between. So an arm through the cat flap, a quick flick of the window handle and an unsightly climb through. I also forget my wallet or I lose it. Same with my phone. To be fair, I don’t know anyone who loses their keys, wallet and phone as much as I do. I have reported my cards missing so many times the bank has a stash ready to activate.


Now I have a tracker in my wallet and attached to my keys. They bleep if I access the Ap or if I lose my phone I can hit a button on anyone of them and it activates my phone. Masks however, complicate everything. COVID has complicated everything.


I left my job that I had been doing for 16 years on Friday 13th of March. I should have known this was a terrible day to leave. Someone had once said to me, ‘when you leave the world will end’ I was one of the first people there and one of the few remaining original staff so sorry folks, my bad. I have caused this apocalypse.


I started a new job on the Monday in a completely new field anc by the Wednesday I was told not to come back and that I had to learn what I was doing from the sofa. I tried not to take it personally. However, I did think that maybe they didn’t like me and they were all actually at the office discussing how to rid themselves of me. I know I was wrong the zoom meetings showed me I was wrong. I don’t think I have ever seen inside a bosses home before. Even done a load of training on line and seen my trainer’s houses, and their spouses. They have also seen mine, and my cat, and my cat’s bum as she likes to stand arse to camera.


However, this has been the easy part. The hard parts are the simple things, like shopping. It started with queues. If you were a key worker you got to jump the queue. Me I had to stand out in the weather. You couldn’t shop with anyone. I could not even get a coffee as the supermarket’s own Starbucks was closed. So instead I stood and played on my phone. I was lucky with the weather it never rained whilst I was queueing which was a good thing as I never had a brolly on me. At this stage masks were not required. Earphones were definitely a requirement. I quite enjoyed watching all the people queuing whilst I stood and sung away to myself.


Then once you had queued for however long it took to get the whole way round the car park, and I went to parts of the car park I had never before visited, you got to the front of the queue and the doors were in sight. There was a staff member on the door counting people in and out. For once they had the power. Some of them used that power, some abused the power. Some didn’t seem to be able to count. 1 person in, 27 leaving, but still I am at the front of that queue waiting to get in.


Then there you were beckoned forward and entering the store. The promised land. I have never been one for shopping lists but these days there were arrows everywhere, one way aisles, no going back. Heaven forbid I forgot something. However I am that person. Go for milk, get distracted by luxurious deserts and random non-edible items such as a duvet spend £200 and get home without milk. I like to wander round and round the supermarket, revisit aisles and generally buy what takes my fancy. Sometimes that means you see something at the far end and realise you need cream to go with it which is at the start of the store. No more. Now I needed to buy it first time round.


The situation has evolved. There are still queues but now they have added face masks to the equation. You can’t go out without the face mask. I have on occasion had to pull my T-shirt over my face and run in to buy a face mask because I have forgotten to bring one. I was actually attending my aunt’s funeral and the only face mask I could find in the car was a yellow smiley face one. I stopped on route and managed to find a black one. I know there are people who refuse to wear one who are medically exempt but I am not exempt and frankly I want to be able to buy my shopping.


The other bonus of the current shopping system is that the Starbucks has opened, so now I can queue and drink coffee. Which is handy as winter arrived and it got really cold and wet. Also there are other coffee shops just not at my supermarket.


My supermarket starts with the fresh stuff. They have even made a little one way in and one way out system, which is exciting. There are hand gels and trolley washing stations. They are trying to make you scan and go with a device but I have the ap. I scan it bag it and feel a bit like a shoplifter when I put the items in.


Carrots. Donkeys like carrots and I have two donkeys. The problem is there are no carrots. Now I have a dilemma. I can get them some thing that they really like, apples but the apples are in the previous aisle. If I disobey the one way system, will I be ejected from the store? Banned? 


I could try a new treat but what if they don’t like it? So my teenage side resurfaces after about 30 years and I get to the end of the aisle, glance around and make a run back to the beginning. Good job they are only letting a few people in at a time. I don’t think anyone saw me. I collect the apple. I am happy. The donks will be happy. 


Next is the meat aisle. I am not a vegetarian or a vegan. The fact that the only fruit and veg in my trolley is for donkeys makes it quite apparent that I am not the most healthy of eaters. Again this aisle is sparse. There is very little left so I take what I can lay my hands on. Venison steaks and mixed game cubes. Not entirely sure what I will do with mixed game. Potentially a pie. I add flour and eggs to the shopping list. Not sure pastry needs eggs but just in case.


I carry on through the chilled aisles. Even remembering to pick up the milk. I go down the aisle with books and magazines, the clothes aisle where a spot a nice top in my size that I don’t need nor do I have space for but it is half price so I add it to the trolley. We are in the danger sections. Household items. Not needed but there are some lovely cushions and that is a lovely scent on the reed diffuser. Then I realise. I am sniffing things. Should I be doing that? The signs say don’t touch it unless you are buying it. Plus I did have to move my face mask to smell it. Hastily I shove it back on the shelf and move on.


The next few aisles I skip. The coffee shelf is looking sparse and only cheap crap is left. I maybe have enough coffee to last a few days. If not Starbucks deliver. So I do not have to ask the government to declare a state of national emergency just yet. I hit the bread aisle. Not a loaf in site. It’s ok, I am going to bake a pie so might as well bake a loaf of bread, I mean how hard can it be? People having been baking bread for hundreds of years and they never had YouTube videos.


I skip round to the flour and egg aisle. No flour, no eggs, no yeast. I guess no toast and no pie. This is ok game casserole will work. I just need some kind of sauce to go with it. Except sauce is near the beginning of the store. I barely got away with back tracking in the fruit aisle. Going the whole way back would really be breaking the rules and staff had seen me. I decide that roasted mixed game probably with super noodles was going to be for dinner.


Done with food I am on to toilet rolls, except there are no loo rolls. I know we are in a lockdown but seriously you can still shop. I think it may be because people have realised they are going to have to do more home cooking and they may accidentally give themselves food poisoning because they have become too reliant on take away and eating out. So they are preparing for the consequences. However, they don’t live with my flat mate who I think eats the toilet rolls. This could constitute a state of emergency.


We can last another day or two, potentially. I will try Amazon. If in doubt Amazon will have something. 


And so I am done. I get to the checkouts. The queue goes down the aisle but I don’t need to use the queue because I have scanned my own shopping. I do feel bad for the staff that are basically being replaced by me. In fact should I get a discount or better still wages, for scanning and bagging my own shopping. 


However, I pay for my shopping and leave the store taking care to go out the right way. I rip off my face mask and put it in my pocket. Safe for the next time. Except the face-mask fairies will remove it and if I don’t fill the car with spares, I will be doing the daily search for face masks, which are never where you leave them. 


Shopping used to be easy. Leaving the house used to be easy. Now in this post-Covid era, there are so many things to remember that you need to qualify for Mensa to remember it all. The new normal. I wish I lived in the days of no locked doors, with just an umbrella and a purse with cash.


March 09, 2021 22:06

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6 comments

Siobhan Mulalley
22:08 Mar 09, 2021

Really struggled this week, with the prompts. So apologies to anyone who reads this. It will be a few minutes of your like you won’t get back. However, I do promise to read your work too, and give it likes and some feedback.

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AntMan 🐜
01:17 Mar 10, 2021

Hi! I honestly think it's great! One suggestion I have is to make sure to read your story over for punctuation errors, as there were a few ;) This is really relatable, and you portrayed your thoughts perfectly! Great job! 🤩

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Siobhan Mulalley
08:38 Mar 10, 2021

Thanks. To be fair, when I read it I was so tired I did probably miss quite a lot.

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AntMan 🐜
18:21 Mar 10, 2021

I have done that before with one of my stories!😅 Rereading it was not fun🤣 Anyways... This story was still great! 😊🤩

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Siobhan Mulalley
18:44 Mar 10, 2021

Cheers.

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AntMan 🐜
23:52 Mar 10, 2021

😁Cheers!

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