Easter Sunday last year, my partner and I popped into our local supermarket to pick up a few things for dinner (Remember those days when you could just casually ‘pop’ into a store without having to stand in a line that resembles the queue for Disneyworld’s Thunder Mountain and when you didn’t perform the panicky ‘dance of avoidance’ if you and another shopper made the mistake of simultaneously reaching for the same item. A world where complete strangers didn’t openly discuss how many sheets of toilet paper they use while stood two meters apart at the checkout. Oh, happy days!).
I immediately headed to the shelves of discounted Easter eggs.
“You don’t need any more chocolate,” my partner chastised my, like a disapproving parent. “Haven’t you got enough eggs at home?”
“OK. I suppose you are right,” I sulked and slowly moved away, casting forlorn glances back at the tempting confectionery.
We meandered up and down the aisles, picked up what we needed, then headed to the checkout.
My favourite member of staff, Curtis, was on duty, so I insisted that we join his line. He had lovely eyelashes and a bright smile, so it was always a pleasure to check out this checkout guy.
Curtis and I had bonded several months earlier during an incident where a coarse mouthy mother had been letting her unruly children run amok in a supermarket trolly.
When approached by security and asked to control her children, as they were in danger of falling out and injuring themselves, she snapped, “That’s ‘ow kids learn, aye it (That’s ‘Isn’t it’ for non-Brummies)?!!”
Curtis looked at me and remarked, “Well, I suppose she does have point.”
I haughtily replied, “There is a difference between climbing a tree and being shoved in an Aldi trolly by a chav!”
Curtis clamped his jaw shut to supress a snigger and mumbled, “As a store employee, I couldn’t possibly comment.”
From that exchange onward, he was always up for friendly banter and a bit of a bitch.
Back in that Easter Sunday checkout queue, I made a spur of the moment decision to dash across to the nearby shelves and grab one of those discounted eggs after all.
My partner rolled his eyes when I returned, “You just couldn’t resist the temptation could you?”
Curtis came to my defence, “You can never have too many Easter eggs.”
“Well, it’s not actually for me,” I explained.
“Then whoever it is for is very lucky,” Curtis commented, as he scanned the egg and placed it in the bagging area.
“I’m glad you think so,” I said as I gave him a coy smile and handed it back to him. “Happy Easter.”
From that day on Curtis would always wave at me to join his line (like I needed any encouragement) and greet me with an even brighter smile. It turned out to be the best £1.49 I ever spent.
Recently, I realised that I hadn’t seen Curtis for a while and asked another member of staff what had happened to him.
“He got a promotion and left,” she told me.
“Oh no!” I wailed. “Who am I going to flirt with now?” Realising my tactlessness, I put a hand on her shoulder and apologised, “No offence.”
I always knew he was destined for more than an Aldi checkout job, but the weekly shop will never be the same again. X