Finding myself with no bread or milk in the house I popped down to my "Sainsbury's Local" to pick up a few provisions. I took the opportunity to purchase a selection of other items from their limited and local stock. Amongst a full basket of other items I bought nine yoghurts. I reasoned that while I was here I may as well buy a few. That would keep me going for nine days of a yoghurt a day or five days of two yoghurts a day (except for one of the days when I would have only one yoghurt) or eighteen days of a yoghurt (on average) every other day. There are several other permutations. Nothing beyond eighteen days though, as then you'd be over the use by date. In any case, I was sure that I would be able to eat all the yoghurts in time and by buying nine yoghurts all in one go I was not going to have to worry about yoghurt purchases for at the very least five days and only then in the unlikely event that I wanted two yoghurts a day. Which I very rarely do. I would say my average yoghurt consumption - when I have a fridge stocked with yoghurts - is two yoghurts every three days. I was anticipating not requiring to buy any more yoghurts for just under a fortnight.
I put the nine yoghurts in my basket and thought no more about it. Yoghurts aren't that important to me. I'm not obsessed with them and I don't think about them any more than the next lactose tolerant person.
Anyway, when I got to the check-out the check-out girl started taking items out of my basket and scanning them. She noticed the yoghurts and looked at me and said, "Someone likes yoghurts." I sort of made a grunting noise. It was true, I did like yoghurts, but I would say no more than the average person who likes yoghurts. She was clearly accusing me of liking yoghurts more than most people. In fact she was so amazed to see that someone might want to buy nine yoghurts in one go that she lifted the basket towards the girl at the next check-out and said, "Look at all the yoghurts."
As I've already explained I had decided to buy enough yoghurts to last for the next fortnight, which I think is entirely reasonable, but here I was being treated as if I had bought nine yoghurts and was planning to get them out of the bag the moment I was out of the shop and scoop them all into my greedy mouth, like I was some kind of yoghurt freak, rather than, as was the case, a normal yoghurt consumer who just wished to ensure a ready supply of yoghurts in his fridge, in case he got a perfectly normal craving for a yoghurt (maybe as a pudding, or a mid-afternoon snack).
In any case, I don't think it is her place, as a check-out girl to pass comment on my groceries. So what if I did like yoghurt more than the average customer? That was my business. I shouldn't be subjected to having my fondness for yoghurt held up for public scrutiny, nor to have my grocery needs discussed amongst the staff. What would she have said if I had been purchasing three large boxes of condoms - "Ooooh, someone likes sex"? What if I had purchased a month's supply of pornographic magazines - "Someone likes masturbating"? How about if I'd got a massive bumper pack of toilet rolls in my basket - "Blimey someone likes shitting"?
No, I would expect discretion. Just as I expect discretion about my (normal) yoghurt consumption.
Anyway it was only nine yoghurts, it's not that many. If I had a wife and a couple of kids, then that is only two yoghurts each (with one remaining for whoever wanted another- not necessarily me). What if I was having a dinner party with eight guests and decided that for dessert we would all enjoy a nice fruit yoghurt? Then I'd only be having one yoghurt myself - hardly the actions of someone who deserves to have that yoghurt consumption commented upon.
She scanned the nine yoghurts and then picked up some of my other groceries to see if there were more yoghurts in the basket. "I'm just seeing if there are any more yoghurts," she explained, as if a man having nine yoghurts in his basket was the most extraordinary thing that had ever happened to her. She saw that there were no more. "No, I replied, "There aren't. See, I don't like yoghurt that much."
She didn't seem convinced.
She then lifted out a bag of apples. There were at least nine apples in the bag. She didn't say "Someone likes apples," though.
I don't know why my yoghurt purchase was so noteworthy. Now, I've left the shop I am wishing I had taken the time to explain my justification for having nine yoghurts in my basket. That would have set her straight. Now I know that every time I pop into that shop, all the eyes of the staff will be on me and they'll be thinking, "There he is, Mr Nine Yoghurts."
Then if I buy even one yoghurt they're going to laugh at me. And if I don't buy any then they'll be thinking I'm getting a secret stash from somewhere else.
My life is ruined.