A Story With Your Sausages?


supermarketI’ve had an unexpected event. In the supermarket. The young woman on the check-out was having a massive yawn when I bowled up with my trolley. I said I hoped she was nearing the end of her shift.

“I wish,” she said, not bothering to suppress extreme yawn number two. “Do you want any bags?” (I didn’t.)

“Do you want any help loading your shopping?” (I didn’t.)

And then she said,

“Do you want a story?”

“Pardon?” I was taken aback.

“Do you want a story?”

“Oh. Yes, please.”

“What genre would you like?”

“Um. Thriller?”


And so, along with my sausages, my beef tomatoes, my cream crackers, and my added lustre shampoo, she churned one out. Or rather, she made one up on the spot. It began with a mysterious knock on the door at midnight, a mysterious parcel on the doorstep and the memory of a mysterious event on a Mediterranean cruise. There would have been even more if it hadn’t been for the stubborn aubergine I’d selected, resisting its path through the scanner. And if it hadn’t been for the slightly bamboozled man waiting behind me, hugging his empty carrier bag expectantly to his chest.

So my narrator and I had a very hasty discussion about writing, the billions of stories she’s started, and the difficulties of completing first drafts, and we said goodbye.

It’s not every day you get an original, custom-built story with your shopping and cash-back. I think it did us both good actually, because when I glanced back she wasn’t yawning any more.

PS I went back a few days later and she was there again.But this time she wasn’t giving out stories with the shopping. She was giving out songs!

singng girl