I bid you welcome to my new column in Sunday Woman magazine. I feel severely honoured to be given the opportunity to plant my thoughts here, and, without delay, I shall scribe away and let you all know how my goal is to ‘make life interesting’ with every passing day.

It’s all so easy to feel stuck in a rut, and I have felt like that many times in the past, so I have made a pledge to myself that I shall change things for the future. I aim to make my days pleasurable and enjoyable and I intend on living in the ‘here and now’ I want to appreciate all the little things in life.

Sometimes I don’t even need to make too much of an effort, and I’m utterly grateful for those random moments of serendipity that pop into my day. Other times, though, I find I have to create my own little scenarios of mischief, which brings me triumphantly to today’s instance of Tesco Check-Out-Girl bewilderment.


Here’s how it went: I walked into my local Tesco (notice it’s called Tesco and not Tesco’s, which is one of my pet hates when anyone addresses it thus – I mean, you don’t say to someone ‘I’ll meet you at Burgerking’s’ or ‘I had my tyres fitted at KwikFit’s’) I walked into my local Tesco and marched immediately to the obligingly smiling check-out girl, who happened to be called Arianna. At this stage I should stress that I wasn’t deliberately singling out a young female assistant for my Tesco Check-Out-Girl bewilderment. It could so easily have been Tesco Check-Out-Boy bewilderment had it been a lad called Barry. Or something similar.
I walked directly to the assistant then, whom, for the ease of anecdotal narrative from now on, I shall abbreviate to COG (Check-Out-Girl) In similar vein I shall abridge my own conversational persona to MAD (Mischievous Andy’s Dialogue) And it went like this:
COG – Can I help you?

MAD – Yeah. Can I have a carrier-bag please?

COG – What? Just a carrier-bag?

MAD – Yes please COG – But why would you want to buy just a carrier-bag when you haven’t even bought anything to put in it?

MAD – Oh, I’ve always wanted a carrier-bag but when they were free I would’ve felt a bit of a meanie coming in and asking for a free carrier-bag, Arianna. Now that Tesco is charging for the bag I don’t feel so bad about procuring one. Nice name by the way. Is it Dutch?
COG turned to consult SOD (Supervisor of Doom) who had edged her way to the cash-register, aware that something was going on)
COG – Can we sell him just ONE carrier-bag?

SOD – I don’t think so. There needs to be a minimum sale value and 5p is probably below that minimum sales value. Let me speak to Head Office

COG – Just checking if we can sell you just ONE carrier-bag, Sir. Yes, I am from the Netherlands. I was born in Eindhoven

MAD – Tell ya what, to make it a more attractive retail transaction for Tesco, make it ten carrier-bags. I do believe that would be 50p. Actually, let’s push the boat out (or the barge, in your case Arianna) and buy one hundred carrier-bags. That’s gotta be worth firing up the cash-register for
COG looks at SOD, with beseeching eyes
SOD – Just do it (making a triumphant clenched fist as if she’d just made a crucial retail marketing decision but resembling a character who would soon be looking at the pointed index finger of Sir Alan Sugar)
So, there we have it. Arianna, from Eindhoven, proceeded to peel off one hundred carrier-bags from the Tesco Carrier-Bag spindle. She counted them off, one by one and laid them out on the reinforced rubber commodity conveyor-belt.
COG – Tesco ClubCard?
MAD – Yes
I paid for my carrier-bags. £5. I looked at my legion of carrier-bags, on the fortified latex belt, and I shook my head.
MAD – I’m never going to be able to carry all of them, Arianna. I’d better have a carrier-bag