I know I deserve all I get for shopping at Waitrose (ie quality products at an inflated price - it’s why I am looking forward to Brexit so I can get inferior products for even more) but I do seem to meet more than my fair share of dicks in there. I expect it on the rare occasions I go to Harpenden - you have to pass a dick exam to be able to live there and not even the fun kind - but some how I feel Hitchin will be better. And actually the dicks in Hitchin Waitrose (thinking over the blogs I’ve written about them) are nearly always in the car park.
I had taken the kids to the supermarket - they both enjoy riding in the cart and Phoebe likes helping with the shop and I could give my wife a break from the kids for an hour, which is always a bonus for whichever is lucky enough to escape these monsters.
I had noticed as I drove our car out of the garage that the back of it was pretty dirty - it’s one of the perils of living in the countryside: the roads are dirty and there’s lots of spray and even if you regularly clean your car it will be filthy the minute you take it out in damp conditions. I don’t ever clean my car which is probably why it’s dirty, but I couldn’t understand why the new one is so much dirtier than the old one. It was my wife who’d later work it out. Because we have to charge it we always have it in the garage and so it is never cleaned by Adam’s carwash - the cleansing rain.
I was thinking I’d better clean it soon as you could only just read the number plate. But by the time I was in Hitchin another spray of road water had actually made the number plate invisible. That’s how dirty the countryside is. Nature isn’t red in tooth and claw, it’s brown and yellow in shit and piss. A nice splash of red would actually break up the beige mundanity.
I took the kids round the supermarket and ended up with a big trolley full of stuff and then also picked up some dry cleaning. I struggled to get it all out to the car in a strong wind. I could see my car as I approached it, as it was the only filthy one. I felt mildly embarrassed to be letting Waitrose down, but if Ian Waitrose was watching from Heaven (he’s not dead, he’s just that rich that that’s where he lives) surely he would have seen a lone parent with two kids and too much to carry and understood.
I got the kids in the car - I had foolishly kept them calm at the check out by giving them a big ginger biscuit each, even though I was supposed to give my son his lunch in the hope he would fall asleep on the journey home. But now, if I took the biscuit away from him he would cry and I wondered if I’d get him to eat his proper food. I had to get the kids out of the cold so put them in the car first, which meant I was stuck with the trolley. The trolley parks are at either end of the car park and I couldn’t leave the kids alone in the car, so I was extra embarrassed that I was going to be one of those scummy people who just leaves the trolley in between the car parking spaces. It had also rolled off a bit whilst I got Phoebe in the car and bumped into the next car and the man in there had glared at me, but luckily no damage was done and I think (as he had kids too) he cut me a bit of slack, recognising the predicament of the juggling parent.
I got Ernie in the car and the dry cleaning on the passenger seat and the groceries where I could get them given the pram was in the boot and then tried to feed my son his food with the back door open, having managed to get the biscuit away from him and replaced it with a pouch of broccoli or something.
A middle-aged man passing by, surely seeing that I was I the middle of something and was pretty flustered, stopped and said, “Excuse me.” As a polite human being I stopped what I was doing to see if he was in need of assistance, but he said, “How is anyone supposed to read that number-plate?”
Of course it could hardly have been any less of his business and he was really just being the kind of cunt who felt the need to point out to me that my car was dirty. But also he knew I probably lived in the countryside (they named it that because he lives there too) and could see I had kids. I was sort of impressed that he felt confident enough in himself to make this comment to a total stranger, without fear of physical retribution. And had I been a little more fraught from all that was going on he might have got some. But I politely said, “I was just thinking the same thing, actually.” I was being jokey and friendly, but he merely tutted and went on his way and I suddenly processed how passive aggressive and rude he was being. “If you’re so worried about it you’re welcome to clean it for me,” I shouted, but he carried on walking and just shrugged, so I chucked in a “Prick” for good measure but probably too quietly for him to hear.
I was now feeling aggrieved enough to make something of it, but he was too far away. Yes mate, I have a dirty car. Can you put together the clues to work out why? Is it really something that you should be commenting on. Sorry I let down the Waitrose car park, though you might also notice it’s an electric car so I am not spewing dirt out into the atmosphere like you are.
I didn’t say any of this. I just felt a bit lousy and sad for having been called out in this pompous way and worried that being 51 I might not be too far from losing the mental filters that prevent most young people from feeling the need to say every thought that crosses their synapses.
I used one of the empty food pouches to clean off some of the caked on dust. He was right - what I was doing was illegal (though hopefully enough to get me off any speeding offences), but why did he feel the need to squeal about it? I would never have punched him but I really wished I’d said, “Why don’t you go fuck yourself?”
And yes, I’d let Hitchin down and maybe lowered the property prices in the town for 45 minutes and felt shamed, but I know that smug Noel-Edmonds faced dick won’t even have felt a moment of mortification.
But why clean anything when it’s just going to get dirty again? It’s a philosophy that has got me into the Guinness Book of Records for the most smegmatic penis ever recorded.