West London Man (20): A trip to Sainsbury’s Audio version
Run Time: 5.27 mins
Produced: West London
The Part of George was played by Charon. The parts of the sales assistant, the elderly lady and Bronwyn were played by a voice text to speech synthesiser by Cepstral
Saturday afternoons bored George. It was not so much the gap in the day between lunch and an evening of hedonistic pleasure, but the general administration of life – the trip to Sainsbury’s, the trip to the dry cleaner, the trip to the bloody delicatessens in Turnham Green Terrace. George decided to do the Sainsbury’s run himself this afternoon while Caroline took the children for a walk at Chiswick House.
Parking his BMW 4×4 in the Sainsbury’s car park, George walked into the supermarket and headed straight for the cigarette counter.
Assistant: Good afternoon, how are you?
George: As well as can be expected, given that I am having my wooden leg changed later this afternoon, thank you. You OK?
Assistant: I’m fine, thank you.
George: Well, that’s good. Can I have a pack of Marlboro fully leaded please?
Assistant: I’m sorry, I don’t think we sell fully leaded ones. What are they?
George: Sorry… The red Marlboro, please.
George paid for the pack of cigarettes and looked at the label.
George: Sorry about this, but the label on the pack says that these cigarettes will make me impotent. Would you mind changing this pack for some cigarettes that will give me fatal lung cancer instead, please.
Assistant: That’s not very nice.
George: I’m sorry… you’re quite right… it is a joke in excellently bad taste. Read it in The Guardian Weekend section this morning… an amusing article by Julian Barnes.
Assistant: Oh. I don’t read the Guardian. I read The Sun.
George: Excellent… plenty of jokes in that. The Guardian doesn’t usually do jokes, it has to be said… in fact, The Guardian is altogether too serious for any day, let alone a Saturday. .
The assistant looked baffled and an elegant middle aged lady, standing in the adjacent queue, pursed her lips and gave George a disapproving look. George wandered off to collect a trolley and headed down the meats aisle. An elderly couple were moving at a snail’s pace, weaving uncannily into George’s path as he approched them at speed.
George muttered to himself: God in heaven, how do these old people manage to have eyes in the backs of their heads. They have all week to go shopping …. why do they have to do it on a bloody Saturday?
George found a gap and went for it, sailing past the old couple and down the aisle to the roast lamb arrea where he picked up a large leg of lamb. It took George approximately ten minutes to fill the trolley with shopping.
George saw a check-out with only one customer. He also saw the same old couple he had barged past heading for the same counter. The race was on. George broke into a trot and just reached the check out before the old couple.George smiled at the elderly man and woman.
George: Sorry about that, but have to rush, getting my wooden leg changed today and have to leg it, pronto.
Elderly woman: You have a wooden leg?
George: The foot fell off the other day when I playing golf. Most unfortunate, I was playing a difficult seven iron to the green and ended up slicing the ball into someone’s garden.
Elderly woman: Well I hope your new leg won’t cause you any problems.
George: Yes… no absolutely… can’t wander about worrying if my foot is going to fall off.
At that moment, George heard a familiar voice, the soft lilt of a very clever woman, a barrister by training.
Bronwyn: George… behave yourself… You don’t have a wooden leg… that was a disgraceul performance, running with your trolley to queue jump these lovely people. I insist that you let them go first.
George laughed: My apologies…. my learned friend is right…. I find shopping very boring – please go first…
Elderly lady: I didn’t think you did have a wooden leg. You did manage to trot quite fast with that trolley though.
George turned to greet his friend, an attractive blonde in her mid-forties with bright blue eyes. An amused smile played on her lips as George bent to kiss her cheek.
Bronwyn: I think you need to buy me a cup of coffee when we get out of here. I want to know what you have been up to. I heard that Caroline has gone back to work.