A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is one of the most adapted stories with countless films, adaptations, parodies and pastiches… And so now may I present my own re-telling with a certain supermarket who, like in the tale of Scrooge, I visited three times in search of festive cheer during the long run-up to Christmas. Featuring my favourite blonde checkout girl, I’ll be playing the roll of all three Christmas ghosts, and Tesco will be providing the lack of Christmas spirit… The analogy kind-of breaks down after that…
They say that the top two hundred Tesco stores are going to be given a festive makeover this year with the installation of a giant green party hat on their shop signs. After their recent fall in UK profits, for the first time in decades, they admitted that this was partly down to their shops looking dated and feeling shabby. So in April they announced an investment of a billion pounds to turn things around… But, with £1,000,000,000.00 to spend, and all we might get is a big green hat, it seems a bit… you know… Miserly.
Visit One: I popped into Tesco last week, to find no magical hat, but I did find my favourite blonde checkout girl for the first time in a good while. If you want to imagine what she looks like then it’s a cross between the actress Kimberley Nixon (her off of Fresh Meat / Hebburn) and the singer / presenter Lauren Laverne.
She always remembers me, knows that I don’t have a loyalty card, and I’m never quite sure why. I asked her how, and whether I was the only person in the country who didn’t have one? She just said “been here too long”, although I’m not sure if she was referring to herself or me. Always a joy, I then hovered on Cloud 9 all the way over to Customer Services and reclaimed the 24p she’d overcharged me on the frozen spinach. The bitch.
I do find that all the prettiest shop girls, in life, tend to overcharge me. Whether it’s the dreamy quality in my daydreaming eyes, or the fact that I’m probably dribbling, but I don’t mind as Tesco reward the customer for catching them out by giving you back double the difference.
So I patiently explained to them how the only brand of frozen spinach that they sell was marked up at £1.06, that I charged at £1.30, and I claimed my 48p. They do make it worth your while to check your receipts, but I guess most people just can’t be bothered.
Visit Two: The next time I was in – still no giant green Tesco hat – I went and secured the same services of my favourite blonde and this time I was buying two bags of spinach: I obviously hadn’t learnt my lesson… Neither had she.
I found out for the first time after all these years that the blonde is a legal student, nearly finished her degree, and soon to leave the world of supermarket checkouts for good. Soon she will be gone… She’s obviously a lot younger than I’d been imagining.
It also meant that instead of buying Tesco frozen spinach for £1.30, which they really seemed to want me to, I was now getting it at the low, low price of 82p a bag! And with a swipe of a barcode my lovely blonde lawyer was my accomplice in this spinach-based swindle… Which is odd, considering.
Visit Three: I went to Tesco and saw that they’ve finally gone to all the trouble of sending someone up onto their roof to install an illuminated green Christmas-cracker hat on the letter O of their sign but, at the same time, they haven’t bothered to fix either the letter T or the letter E that have been broken for several weeks now. Just magical.
Inside I found my favourite blonde actually doing her shopping. It’s always a surprise to see her with legs. I also found that they’ve finally solved the ongoing spinach debacle by removing any trace of it from their freezers, leaving just empty unmarked shelves and no labels, as opposed to just sending someone down put the right price on. Bah humbug!
It’s a good job I stocked up whilst I could.
And with that, my festive low-rent telling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, I’d like to wish you all a good and happy Christmas. Below is the favourite picture of myself that I’ve found this year. In case you’re wondering I’m the one on the right rocking the brown felt trousers… And the green tee shirt… And the messy hair. Basically, if you want to imagine what I look like, without the aid of identi-kit, I think I must have grown up to become Shaggy from Scooby Doo.