Work is absolutely dragging like a fat murder victim whose feet are bound in a bucket of concrete fifty foot too far away from the damn riverbank. It’s ten past four but my mind is telling me I should be relaxing with a glass of red wine in a steamy bubble bath with dear old Nigel by my side nibbling on his cheesy treats; his purring lullaby sending me into a deep and throaty snoring slumber, until my skin tenderises like a two-hundred year old and falls loosely from my fingertips like a fine cut of meat straight off the bone when I finally pull the chain for the plug.
But no, instead I’m stuck at my station checking and chucking the out of date contents of the deep freeze whilst trying to erase the video playback of my once heroic Sparta-worthy Ben, who has now turned gayboy since his snotty cry baby performance at lunchtime from my mind. What a way to destroy a girl’s fantasy!
Finally my painstaking boredom is sensationally admonished when the sound of a vast amount of teenagers prepubescent and giggling stupid voices and heavy footed trainers squeaking on the tiled floor invade my eardrum. Ah yes, the Pebble Brook Comprehensive School’s Supermarket Marketing Strategy Trip had totally slipped my mind and now my entire being is literally alight with sheer devilish delight, the Phoenix rising gloriously from the flames. The herd of spotty over made-up and trying-way-too-hard-to-look-cool fools make their way naively onto my territory, headed by my favourite store manager of all time, the one and fucking only Gaynor Startle. Is that a grimace lining her pasty brow or is she just pleased to see me?
“And as you can see from the merchandising, we have followed the theme of country farm shop through to the cold meats section to bring a personal at-home feel to the customers shopping experience,” smiles Gaylord putting on her best posh voice. She’s blatantly trying desperately to make herself taller than the midget teens around her by lifting her shoulders back like a drowning obese sausage dog paddling in a pond. Chill out Gaylord, lay back and use those mega ear lobes as a float until the RSPCA arrive.
She stands with her back purposely towards me to block me from sight as she orchestrates the crowd of stagnant teens who now surround my counter.
“But of course…” I cut in, and she pauses as if I’m pressing the tip of a gun strategically between her shoulder blades. All eyes immediately fall upon me and my arse muscles clench tightly to my surprise. Woah, it’s kind of heady having so much attention and power, and at least forty eyeballs are now staring at me in a zombified trance with the occasional pop of bubblegum or clearing of the throat to break the expectant silence.
My puppets stand before me and I, Gepetto, stand tall holding every string of dictatorship within my moistened palm. Their minds like balls of modeling clay, supple and primed for shaping into fake turds to leave on Gaylords front doorstep.
“We wouldn’t want the customers feeling too at home,” I continue, “or we’d be in danger of farting lazy bastards laying around blocking our escape route to the staff car park.” I grin and the stupefied zombies spring to life, their interest piqued and their wide eyes filled with unbelievable amazement.
Fucking hell that made my heart race, I stand behind the slightly misted glass of my meat counter kingdom like a fucking cool immortal god to the teens as Gaylord recoils in horror. This is fantastic! Give it a second for it to sink in Sandra, don’t drop the tempo yet. Smiles erupt on the faces beaming up at me and deliver a hit of added altitude to my performance as I lean forward onto the glass, like a wise and super hot wet-dream-material leader addressing my disciples.
“What we’re basically trying to do here is give the customer what they came for, not explain the techniques of brain surgery. I’m on the frontline here and I basically keep the place tidy, flirt with the men, compliment the women on their nice shoes and try not to poison anyone; that way everyone goes home happy with a bag of meat at the end of the day, we hit our targets and no animals die unnecessarily, aside from these joints that are out of date, but that’s an exception. The serving staff and the unfaltering produce are what generate the sales, not the font on a shitty recipe card from head office that never made it to the counter display, I use them to prop the back window open.”
I blink as they continue to hang astonishingly onto my every word. Is nobody going to fucking speak then? I look over to Gaylord who appears to have dumped her body weight in sweat onto her staff shirt, her fat scrunched up face has turned a milky shade of sick and you could be forgiven for thinking she’d just been seen by a taxidermist for her world record of standing silent and stock still for so long. I wonder how her eyes don’t dry out from not blinking. And it makes me want to blink. This is getting slightly awkward now, wow.
And out of nowhere a lone pair of hands begin to anonymously sound a slow cautious clap, and other hands all around me start reacting and joining in to suddenly form a standing ovation mixed with wolf-whistles and under the breath mutterings of “funny as fuck,” “she’s fit,” and “swear down!” Pied Piper eat your heart out!