take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Monday, December 12, 2005

In a bit of a flap 

It was a bit like a scene out of a very low quality, British sitcom.

We loaded the composter onto the flat trolley. As we wheeled it toward the checkout, it immediately fell off and rolled noisily and rather eccentrically on the ground in front of the carefully assembled display of dustbins, incinerators and other "waste management" receptacles. Our second attempt was more successful. We managed to transport it through the checkout and to the car with no further mishaps. Although I did realise en route that we would also need a small bin to collect kitchen scraps, a vital part of the composter's "diet". Big continued through the checkout, whilst I became distracted by Christmas gift tags and other twinkly things.

I located a suitable receptacle and made my way to the burgeoning checkouts, where Big had already progressed through to the other side. He passed a twenty pound note to me and I took my place in the queue. I wielded the barcode toward the checkout operator, congratulating myself for being so efficient. However, my efforts were entirely in vain, as the barcode wouldn't scan. He tried typing in various numbers which appeared on the label, all to no avail. He set his checkout light a-flashing and we both looked hopefully towards the information desk but all the staff were busy with queries, refunds and special orders. I could see Big waiting at the car, furrowing his brow and "prairie-dogging" at me as if this would speed up the futile process. He didn't have the car keys so couldn't make use of the time to load the composter into the car. Finally, a roving supervisor took the bin and set off to the display to find the "magic number". I looked around sheepishly, hoping that the other customers would realise that it wasn't my fault, I hadn't been negligent in my shopping duties.

At the car, we puzzled over how to get the composter in. The back seat seemed like the most sensible option. Whilst Big returned the trolley, I manhandled the bulky green article in, taking care to place its black door flap on the roof of the car temporarily, so as not to lose it. Yes, I think you know what's coming.

We got home. Big unloaded the composter and I noticed an omission:

"Oh no, where's the flap?"

Almost as soon as I'd said it, the realisation came to me. I remember putting it on the roof of the car to keep it "safe" but at no point in time did I take it off the roof to put it somewhere infinitely "safer" - i.e. *in* the car, rather than *on* it.

With the sort of sigh which can only come from the realisation that one has built a rod for one's own back, I drove back to the garden centre and retraced our "tyre steps" around the car park. Doubtless, the other patrons thought I was some kind of lunatic, capering around, peering under cars from time to time and standing, hands on hips, looking thoroughly pissed off. No flap, anywhere. So I did something naughty. I went up to the information desk with my receipt:

"Erm, I've just bought a composter and it doesn't have a flap" - well, it was kind of true. At that moment in time, it had no flap.

"Is it okay if I take one?"

Amazingly, they agreed to this.

As I guiltily drove home on the dual carriageway, there at the side of the road I espied a lonely, discarded, composter door flap on the grassy verge.

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