I can’t believe I’m going to say this because it is so unlike me, usually I’m a 24th December shopper, but . . . I now have all my Christmas presents – bought, wrapped, and stored away from prying eyes.
To be honest it’s a great feeling but I do have to account most of this early bird activity to Richard – the ‘let’s-click-on-that-and-buy-it-even-though-we-don’t-need-it’ manic Ebayer. His little fingers are almost worn down to the bone with all the internet activity.
Instead of trotting along to Argos, or Toys R Us, Richard has bought from the internet. This is OK, in theory, but he clears off to work and I’m having to stay focused on the front door as parcel after parcel arrives.
We had a little scan around Tesco last Saturday, looking for wrapping paper and any other ‘bits’ for stocking fillers for Jake and Grace. They didn’t need anything else but while Richard was watching some woman fingering bras in the clothes section, I came across a lovely little parrot in a cage. Not a real parrot, obviously, no, a stuffed toy thingy. It had one of those little button things that you press and it squawks and such like – so I pressed it – and yep, it squawked. Then I happened to read the box and it said it repeated anything you said to it, so I tried it out, and it did. I was having great fun as Richard sidled up, having lost interest in the woman buying the bra. Either that or she’d reported him to the store’s security team?
‘Look at this!’ I exclaimed. ‘Isn’t it brilliant? It repeats everything you say. I think we should get it for Grace.’
Richard squinted a bit (he’s half blind at close range) and then pressed the button. Then, standing in the middle of Tesco’s he spoke his message into the parrot. A second later it squawked out, ‘Shop at ASDA!’
‘You idiot?’ I said. This only served to make him laugh louder. Then he pressed the buttons on every parrot on the shelf and within seconds the place was filled with, ‘Shop at Asda! Shop at Asda! Shop at Asda!’ etc. etc.
He thought this most amusing – did I mention that he has a weird sense of humour?
Richard, being Richard, couldn’t leave it at that and strains of, ‘you sexy beast, you sexy beast, you sexy beast,’ echoed up and down the aisle.
I grabbed one parrot for Grace and left him to it.
We giggled most of the way home as the parrot, squashed under 3 bags of frozen oven chips and 2 bags of Quorn sausages, gave intermittent squawks each time the car went over a bump and a frozen sausage triggered its button thingy.
So, then, when we got home, we wrapped everything. When I say ‘we’ I mean Richard sat at the table playing with the parrot, teaching it a whole new vocabulary, and I wrapped everything.
The only present remaining to buy is mine – and Richard’s. But we probably won’t bother. That’s not because we are mean or don’t think enough of each other to buy gifts, no, it’s because neither of us can ever come up with something we need, or would like.
At least the ‘Tesco’ trip was less stressful than the Morrison’s shop the other day.
I was there at the crack of dawn, stuffing cat food into the basket – 7 foils for £3 – so I bought 21. Chea is like a blancmange, slipping out sideways when she squats. I must, in her defence – and mine, because I don’t want you thinking that I’m such a crap owner that I over feed her, admit to her having grown a coat so thick that it isn’t dissimilar to the 70s shag pile that frequented homes. Anyway, I digress . . .
Back to Morrison’s. I’d thrown the cat food foils into the trolley and was just fingering a cheapo Christmas jumper when there was an almighty thud and the whole store blacked out. This has never happened to me before and frankly it was a tad worrying. I half expected armed robbers to be swooping down the aisles at any moment demanding my pearls and best leather boots. I thought these places had emergency generators that kicked in?
I stood chatting to a woman – as you do – for ages, well, ten minutes, and then with a thud the lights came back on. I then made a fast retreat to the checkout only to find that I’d thrown the Christmas jumper, that I was merely looking at, into the trolley and was, now, loading it onto the conveyor belt.
So, I now have a penguin Christmas jumper. Yep, I know, sad or what?
Actually, thinking about it, perhaps I do know what I can get Richard for Christmas . . . but then again, could I live with the squawking? But, then again, I already live with his!