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Lockdown 5 – Shopping

Over the past 5 days I’ve cut the grass, tidied the garage, hoovered, cleaned mould off the bathroom ceiling, discovered our cupboard under the cooker was full of plastic bags and walked the dog in various disguises 4 times a day. To be clear, I was in disguise, not the dog, because that would be weird.

So today, I decided to do a post.

About an essential trip to Lidl, just down the road. Note the word essential just so you know I’m not being frivolous with my public time, although I did get haribos and gin while I was there.

To me, shopping now feels like a walk through a petri dish. 

The trolley handle was dripping with coronavirus and so was the fruit and veg. Contaminated hands were squeezing for plumpness and checking for rotten goo on the underside, very important at Lidl. Like someone wading through sewage, I moved quickly through to the bakery section without touching anything.

The bread aisle echoed with the distant memory of bread. But at the very end, thank the lord, the egg custards were there. Usually open to the elements at a child’s sneezeable and pokable height, they were now nicely wrapped in a see-through snot proof crinkly bag, so I had a couple.

The meat section was another disaster. If I was that bit of chicken at the back next to the liver, I would’ve been ashamed of myself. It was mostly lumpy white stuff around the edges and horrible reddy purple bits that I imagined tumours would look like, all held together with chewy connective tissue… yum, yum, yumpty, yum. Here’s an artists impression of what it might have looked like when it was alive.

Further down, a woman was rummaging through the ham slices, I wanted the beef, two shelves above. Usually, I would just reach over and get it but she looked rock hard and I didn’t want to violate social distancing rules. So I waited, casually browsing through the out of date corn beef slices, never new corn beef could be out of date. The woman kept rummaging further and further back.

When she returned from Narnia, she looked please with herself. Mr Tumnus must’ve given her an excellent expiry date. Eventually she left and I panic bought 3 packets of beef before experiencing the loneliness of the dairy aisle. Instead of milk or eggs, I settled for tumbleweed, tastes very similar to Shredded Wheat.

It was at this point that my face got incredibly itchy, mostly around the nostrils and mouth. Since I’d touched things, my hands had a three-mile exclusion zone around them so I tried twisting my mouth around to relieve the itch and pulling a face as if I’d been stabbed in the back. It didn’t help – but if the NHS weren’t already snowed under I think someone would’ve phoned for an ambulance. 

I hurried to the checkout with my ‘essentials’: beef, egg custards, haribos and gin and we all touched stuff again. A feel sorry for the checkout people. They surely have more chance of catching the Coronavirus than anyone else; touching thousands of packets of potentially contaminated food packaging every day without protective equipment. I vowed to do a Clap for the Checkouts, at 8.00pm that evening.

I took the goods, accidentally touched fingers when taking the receipt and legged it for the exit, where I breathed in the gorgeously uncontaminated air, fresh from the lungs of the smokers by the door.

Side Note: the Clap for the Checkouts didn’t go that well. Just us on the street, I clapped while my wife and kids waved carrier bags. Sorry checkout people, but it’s better than nothing. Keep up the good work.

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