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Friday 11th July 2003

I was in the Supermarket buying far too much food for my birthday party (how does one know how many people will turn up and how much they will eat and drink? I'm going to be having barbecues for the rest of the week I foresee).
I was in the bread aisles looking for some buns that were a suitable shape to accommodate sausages, when an old woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, can you tell me how much that Warburton's loaf is, please?"
Ever happy to help the elderly and the mad I had a look for her, but there was no apparent price.
"It doesn't seem to say," I'm afraid, I told her.
"Well, do you have any smaller Warburton's loaves? I like the small ones really."
Much as I would love to own Sainsbury supermarkets or even work there in some ways, I could see that the lady was making a false assumption.
I don't know why she thought I was part of the staff, I was wearing jeans and a colourful striped shirt, but I played along. "I'm not sure. Let me have a look."
I looked up the aisle but there was only large Warburtons at some mystery price. The lady's friend realised that I wasn't a member of staff (not surprisingly, my disguise had been rubbish) and said "He doesn't even work here."
"Oh, I'm sorry," said the small loaf seeking woman.
"I don't mind at all," I replied, "I wish I could have been more help."
The lady looked lost and confused and it seemed as if not having the small loaf was a matter of some concern to her. Perhaps she could afford the larger loaf, but perhaps she couldn't. She didn't know, because Sainsbury were keeping the price a closely guarded secret. Maybe it would be a bargain, perhaps it would be a thousand pounds. Mr Sainsbury likes to play these games on his customers. It keeps him amused. He sees himself as a kind of god, you know, one of the cheeky gods who likes to fuck with people's heades for no good reason. Read Job if you haven't already. Even modern day gods are up for a laugh.
Mr Sainsbury was watching from above (on the closed circuit TV system) and laughing to himself. Had he decided to be generous today and give the Warburton's large away for a penny? Or would the old woman have her house repossessed if she took the plunge and decided to go large?
Only one thing was absolutely certain. As he watched, Mr Sainsbury was sitting on a chair made of Warburton's small loaves, and was eating small pieces of Warburton bread and occasionally rolling a piece of the bread into a ball and flicking it into a gaggle of pretty young Sainsbury check-out girls who were dressed in sexy duck outfits (only sexy unfortunately to those who are attracted to ducks, a group to which Mr Sainsbuty definitely belongs) who would all scrabble for the morsel from his table, because this occasional tit-bit was all they were fed (some of the weaker duck check out girls were already dead). And as they ate Mr Sainsbury would shout "You are not worthy to eat the crumbs from under my table... you duck whores." (something ommitted from the Biblical version.

That is the only thing we can be certain that was happening in this otherwise imaginary scenario.

I already had two supermarket trollies full of groceries and considered just buying the bigger loaf for the sad-eyed old woman (who was unaware of her innocent place in the cosmic grocery/duck ballet), but the sensible part of me knew that it would just cause too much hassle for us both.
I left her to her choice.

It was a bit like the film "Sophie's Choice".

Except about bread, instead of children.

I'll write up the proposal and send it to Hollywood.

If I put in the duck women then it's sure to get made. All the Hollywood executives fancy ducks as well.

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