West London Man (12): Panic buying

George has just talked to one of the analysts at work in The City. He calls his wife Caroline who is at home. Caroline went out to a very long lunch the day before and is sleeping in. Her Mother stayed over and is looking after the chidren.

Ring… ring…. ring…. ring…

Caroline: Hello.

George: Caroline… hi… how are you?… good lunch? I got in a bit late I’m afraid so slept in the spare room so as not to wake you.

Caroline: Hello… George… I’m still a bit sleepy…

George: One of our people has just sent around a memo. There is a petrol strike on Friday. Can you get over to the filling station in both cars this morning and also buy some plastic containers and buy as much petrol as you can? Homebase or B&Q should have some and buy a couple of garden water butts as well… that way we can build up a decent stock of petrol

Caroline: Why?

George is hyperventilating slightly as he responds to this.

George: Because there’s going to be a shortage and I don’t want to run out of petrol, darling….

Caroline: George… this is silly. I’ve just been listening to the news. The strike is for four days, the government has said there is no need to panic buy…

George: Caroline… this government would tell you it is 1997 if they thought they could away with it. Please just get some petrol. If you can’t handle this, I’ll ring an employment agency, hire some guy for the day and get him to do it.

Caroline: That’s a good idea, darling… why don’t you do that? I want to give Mum a treat for looking after the kids yesterday and last night.

George: OK… OK. I’ll get onto it. I’ll get back to you.



Caroline got up, slipped on a kimono and went downstairs. The children were watching a video on DVD with tractors in it. Caroline’s mother, Saskia, was reading The Telegraph and drinking a latte. She looks up as Caroline comes into the kitchen.

Saskia: Hello darling…. good night?

Caroline kisses her mother on the cheek, says good morning and wanders over to the Aga to pour some coffee.

Caroline: George says there is going to be a petrol strike and is sending some guy over to fill up the cars, buy petrol containers and water butts and stockpile petrol in the garden.

Saskia: Do you think that is wise?…. storing petrol in the garden?…. It isn’t that long ago that he set fire to the shed and burned down part of your garden at the barbecue……

The two women burst out laughing. Caroline sat down and sipped her coffee.

Saskia: So how was your lunch with your ex-boss?… going back to work?

Caroline: Mmmmm … it was good… very good.

3 thoughts on “West London Man (12): Panic buying

  1. Never mind dangerous, I think it’s illegal to store large quantities of petrol… now, I’m not implying anything here, but let’s hope George doesn’t end up like Judge Chubb.

    I think it was a garden shed with petrol in it… mowing the lawn has never been so dangerous!

  2. “good … very good”

    Let me guess: good food, good drink, top-notch conversation, a chaste peck on the cheek and a relaxing ride home?

    I have a suspicion that this story will explode soon – either through extra-marital complications or the sheer amount of petrol being stored.

  3. Pingback: West London Man returns… after a trip to The Reichenbach Falls « Charon QC

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