Saturday, 13 April 2013

A Highly Regrettable Incident At Sainsbury's

A roller-coaster week at Hedges Towers.  It started with an incident of possible criminal activity at our local supermarket - though in his defence, BH pleads accidental error of judgement and mitigating circumstances. We were doing the weekend shopping at the time. Usually BH does this on his own because he says that whenever I accompany him, off-list items find their way into the trolley, although I claim that they would have been on the list had I known, when drawing it up, of their existence.

Be that as it may and it was, I was scouting round for extra stuff, when I noticed BH standing very close to a trolley parked in the veg aisle. He was staring fixedly at the contents. Then he bent down and reached in. At which point the owner of the trolley arrived, gave him a 'what the hell?' look, and wheeled it swiftly away. There subsequently ensued the following exchange:

Me:  What on earth were you doing?
BH: I thought it was one of those reduced trolleys.
Me: They don't do reduced trolleys in Sainsbury's.
BH: Don't they? I thought they did. It had some good bargains. There were some nice carrots.
Me: But it was that man's trolley.
BH: (peers at items) Are those on the list?
Me: (firmly) You are in no position to query anything.

Let it be stated that two seconds later, we were both leaning against the meat counter helpless with laughter, and being given a very wide berth by passing customers. I have mentally stored the incident up to use as ammo in future negotiations, a tactic I highly recommend.

Meanwhile in the parallel world to yours, i.e. the one which is inhabited by me, we have had some 'developments'. The decision on our Town Green application has been put on hold pending the outcome of an appeal on a previous and very similar case to ours called the Barkas Case. Oh unconfined joy! As the options were: nope or wait, we are happy to settle for wait, as it gives us legal threat lines when our beloved Town Council, having decided to make economies by cutting their integrity and accountability budget altogether, decides to have another go at our playing field.


Which they will. They have now had to withdraw their flawed planning application for the second time, thanks to a devastatingly effective and pretty well continuous email campaign. Hahaha. There must be staff in that Planning Department who are only now dusting themselves down and emerging out of hiding. Magic Finger Hedges, they call me. Well no, that is probably NOT what they call me, but hey, it worked. (Tip for anybody running a similar campaign against a local council: always copy the Chief Exec, the Head of Planning, the Monitoring Officer, plus any supportive Councillors into anything you send to minions. It worries them. A lot.)

Which makes me wonder: Local Government machinations... corrupt councillors ... is there perhaps a book in all this? The Vacant Casualty springs to mind as a possible title... what do you think?



Apropos of nothing ... I was sent this great cartoon by a fellow children's author who'd recently discovered my 'Spy Girl' series. Thanks, Richard Hardie.

47 comments:

  1. lol! Hehe...very funny and better still that you caught him doing it!

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    1. haha..I ALWAYS catch him doing it..!

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  2. Lol, Lol and Lol again (I believe that means 'lough out loud', no?).The cartoon is excellent, your Magic Fingers are probably casting all sorts of spells on the accursed and your negotiating skills are worthy of a training manual. Brilliant as always, Ms Hedges.

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    1. Thank you - this is the upside of being older - funny stuff happens.

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  3. So pleased about the application being put on hold,it may go on for years but you will still have your green space during the wait. Poor hubby ,they have those trollies in Tesco! I have nearly walked away with someone else's trolley before.

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  4. Huge applause for tactical management of both BH and the council (that's not to suggest that they are equal in villainy, however...); I'm absolutely at one with you over the copying in of the top end; in such organisations, everybody is looking over shoulder and fearing wrath from above - wrath which always comes when the ordure spatters the pages of the papers! Congratulations on the campaign so far.

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    1. Thanks ladies: We may not be winning but we are sure as heck causing aggro!

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  5. Hahahahaha!...Well...my ennui has definitely been flushed away now thanks to this hysterical post!! I LOVE BH...( worry not...this isn't the prelude to some sordid confession..)..I find him to be hilarious and a wonderful accompaniment to your equally hilarious scripts!..In fact I feel MY campaign should be for you, et al, to have your own sit com!! It couldn't fail to be an instant success given YOUR strange, varied and highly entertaining life! I even have a title...'Snails....Sods..( ref to council ) and Shopping'....
    Oh btw.....Q: What have the council and the Snails got in common? A: They are each invertebrates..........both completely lacking in back bone!
    Loved this post Hedges! ...

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    1. I may have to do a 'Blog of the Best Blog Comments' one day..you will feature!!!

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  6. I did laugh - but it also reminded me of the sort of thing I would do - and probably have done!

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    1. You are approaching the era---I'd just resign yourself and enjoy it

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  7. The youngest of my daughters was the most obedient - until her sisters 'taught' her to sneak chocolate cake into the shopping trolley! I didn't know whether to be cross or pleased that she had managed to be 'naughty' for once!

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  8. I have many a Morrisons tale to tell, I have to say... most of them appear on my Facebook status updates, though! Yah boo sucks to those council morons. And I've nicked the double agent cartoon :)

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    1. You are welcome to nick it! Seeing as I was sent it by someone else.

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  9. love this post, love the fish, love everything you write. And you're right, could be a book in it. Always room for more humour in this world.

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    1. Thank you. You are clearly a person of great taste and discernment!!! Hahahahahahahaha.

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  10. Made me laugh too. I think there is absolutely a book in it. I'm sure the leader of the council will be that bloke that pokes around in other peoples shopping trollies ...

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  11. Well that cheered me up. I think you should write the book, I'm sure the leader of the council will be that bloke that pokes around in other peoples shopping trollies.

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  12. Hah! Funny. I love 'Magic Finger Hedges', too.

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  13. LOL to the shopping incident. I knew immediately what he thought it was. I blame the lady for leaving the cart unattended. ;)

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  14. Good to hear that the council have put their decision on hold. That email bombardment was a good strategy. I love that you store up ammo against your OH. I do that too! Mr A says I've got a memory that's longer than an elephant's!

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    1. Thanks Ros - one has to have a long memory in a marriage ---and it's a reassurance that dementia has not struck yet!

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  15. Hi Carol,

    Apologies if this has posted twice...

    I'm really pleased to hear the town council have put the planning application on hold, and I can't understand why councils don't do more on the inner city brown sites.

    Surely that would be more beneficial for everyone? And leave the green space open and green!

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    1. I agree...but in our case,we suspect a behind the scenes deal with a developer is the answer... we shall see! Thanks for your support.

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  16. You and BH are a couple! And I mean a REAL couple. You make me laugh. And thank goodness the snails are able to slime for at least a while longer. Here's hoping they are still at it when the current council members are but a nasty memory. Well written, as usual. Thanks :)

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    1. Aww Hap!!! I hope so too ...they will be coming out of hibernation soon...

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  17. It's not 'sneaking off list items into trolley', it's guerrilla shopping! Many times have me and mine been very grateful for a bar of Emergency Cadburys which has appeared mysteriously in the cupboard without human agency!
    And good news about the snails too!

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    1. Like your attitude! Emergency chocolate is not to be sneezed at (and is to be scoffed)

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  18. Lol x My hubby always pushes the trolley when we do our weekly shop and I have been known to put iteems in what I think to be our trolley but it will really be some unsuspecting passer by that I will mistakenly put item in their trolley! OOPS!

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    1. YES!!!! That's the other thing we do!!So glad it's not just us!

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  19. Your style of writing always makes me laugh--especially because I am an American and have no idea what a "reduced trolley" is, but it DOES make me think of something like a balsamic vinegar reduction, which then gives me all kinds of hilarious mental images. Especially risotto with reduced trolley on top.

    Go Magic Finger Hedges!

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    1. Hahaha. Reduced trolley - is where they out the goods that are passed their sell by date, or need to be sold quickly. Don't worry - I follow a lot of American bloggers and I have a similar problem!!

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  20. Ha ha ha! Made me laugh lots! I too have tried to walk away with someone else's trolley, always a little embarrassing ;)

    xx

    p.s good news about the planning permission ;)

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  21. Made me laugh out aloud - I'm usually guilty of putting things INTO other people's trolleys by accident!!

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  22. I look forward so much to your adventures, first of all i thought they would make a good book but now i'm thinking they have to be a stage play. I once took the wrong trolly to the checkout and started to unload it.

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    1. haha, thanks Ian. The trolley traumas that are emerging give me hope - it's not just us, then!!

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  23. I was having a pretty boring day until I found your blog and this funny post. My husband is not allowed to go shopping alone. He loves "bargains" and believes in bulk buying with such a holy conviction, I fear for what little closet and cabinet space I have left. They other day I looked under my bed for a lost dog toy and found a CASE of canned pineapple. That's eighteen cans. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them!

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    1. Hahah. Thanks and welcome!! Mine likes a bargain too...but does not buy in bulk - unless it is wine... which he does. Pineapple upside down cake? For the whole street?

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  24. Just realized you may be getting my silly comment twice. Had trouble logging in and had to re-type. Sorry for cluttering up your site.

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  25. Talking of mistakes. Many years ago my cousin and I borrowed my mothers Mini to go drinking in Bath (in the days beofre the breathaliser. Instead you walked down the line in the middle of the road. How safe is that!!!!). After a few beers we came back to the street we'd parked it in, only to see two guys trying open the doors to get in. Being young, fit... and fairly drunk... we tackled them and said that if they'd go away we'd say no more about it. Then I saw my mother's identical car 50 feet further up the road. The two guys were very nice about it and only beat us up a little bit!
    SOOOOO embarrassing!

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    1. Why does NOTHING about this story surprise me?

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  26. That is so funny! You've got to do the spice jar thing now, then post a photo :)

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    1. It's top of the list!! The actual and the off-list list.

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  27. Ah supermarkets! Joy of joy. I had no idea that the supermarket was a source of cultural difference until the first time I went shopping there with my husband (in the very early days). I went to get a trolley and he looked at me with a kind of horror and said:
    "You're not going to take one of those?" And I looked at him with an equally bemused expression and said:
    "Of course. It's a supermarket, I'm taking a trolley."
    "You are not ashamed?" he asked in a form of unknown supermarket innocence.
    I realised I was with a man who really did grow up with the culture of going to the market with a basket, of buying from traders and that the introduction of the supermarket and being seen in one was a shameful act! And I am not talking about the dark ages, this was in the year 2000! A moment in a supermarket, I will never, ever forget. :)

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    1. I'm just stunned at how many versions o 'oops I got it wrong' there are!!! Hahaha. Thanks for both comments and welcome to the blog!!

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