Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Totting Up Black Birds

The office is delicately spinning and humming today...more due to my excessive champagne intake last night than any whirr of productivity emanating from my desk sadly. For some reason all of my worst hangovers seem to occur on Tuesdays - there's something so devilishly delicious about being a little worse for wear on a Monday that makes me not care overly that Tuesday will be a write off.

I can't say that it's helping matters that Google has decided to celebrate Jules Verne's birthday by turning the Google symbol into a steerable submarine portal...so far this morning I've opened a lot of emails, not responded, found some treasure, paid my bills, spotted a narwhal, drank three cups of tea and crashed into a star fish. Whilst not directly assisting my attempts to earn the money I'm being paid or keep the room on a horizontal level, it is helping me to feel happy. I am Captain Laura of the Good Ship Desk and I'll be steering myself through the trials and tribulations of the day with my trusty mouse and my squinty little eyes. I have forgotten my glasses for the second day running. Actually, toss that - let's just admit it - I've flagrantly lost my glasses and haven't attempted to find them and so can barely see the screen of my computer anyway. What the hell does it matter? It appears you can ram a narwhal umpteen times without it even attempting to swim away. What a bell end.

So...why am I hungover? Good question. Because I went out for dinner with some old friends from University last night and the cocktails at the restaurant were two for £6. This is a dangerous state of affairs when champagne cocktails are included and delicious. Hence my predicament this morning.

I've got to say that although dinner was delightful (salmon - thanks for asking) and the company was great, the absolute highlight of the whole thing was driving home. We'd left the car in Sainsbury's car park but found when we went to leave that the whole thing was closed, the ticket machine wouldn't accept our 'We're Leaving Card', and there was nowhere to pay for our parking in the car park.

After several studious laps of the car park and attempts to force feed the 'We're Leaving Card' into the ungrateful machine we gave up, moved the cones from the other lane and escaped. "Freedom" I may have shouted through the open window and into the Southern Bromley sky.

At this point a red car in front of us stopped and a woman got out. Now, this woman had not been in the car park, we had not seen her before...she had materialised in the road. She got out of the car and came over to our car...

"Did you just come out of the car park?"
"Did you get out ok?"

Now...I'll be honest...this is where alarm bells started ringing. Of course we got out ok...the car still had four wheels, we'd not lost any limbs in the procedure and, as indicated by our answer to the first question, we were out of the car park.

"You didn't just drive under the barrier did you?"

Now...I'll be honest...I was struggling to keep a straight face while this exchange went on with mystery missus. We were in a Ford Fiesta that would have lost a battle with a barrier. Even if the barrier was made of Weetabix. We were also normal people. Normal people don't randomly smash their way out of Sainsbury's car park on a Monday night due to a brief moment on supermarket car park induced rage.

"How did you get out?"
"Well, we moved the cones...the machine wouldn't take our card."
"You moved the cones?"

It was at this point I started to worry that this woman might have given birth to the cones as an expression of sheer devotion to her beloved Sainsbury's car park.

"Yes...the machine wouldn't accept the ticket and so we had to get out. There was no where to pay."
"Have you still got the ticket?"

No. We burnt it in protest at the fascist state of Southern Bromley Sainsbury's car parks.

"Er, yes."
"Can I have it?"
"Erm...who are you?"

At this point she starts wildly tugging her coat off one shoulder. Mildly alarmed for a second in case we were about to see some crazy street nipple, I looked away. When I turned back she was actually showing us a name badge.

"I work there, I work there. I work in Sainsbury's. Ha! I'm not just a crazy woman on the street..." 

Raised eyebrow.

"No, no, no. I work there. You shouldn't have parker there you see?"

Her earnest eyes are drilling into mine now. Daring me to give a shit.

"You're not meant to park there at this time...you must have got there just before 8pm? Do you see? Because you're not meant to park there this late...you must have got there at about five to 8?"

No. No, we got there at 7:13pm.

"It's the only way you could have beaten the system. Let me have the card. It's ok I work there. Let me have the card. There...that's better. I've got the card now. I'll sort it. Now you moved the cones you say...?"

And with that, she trundles off into the night to go and take care of her beloved offspring. But where the hell had she come from? I can only assume she patrols the street at night waiting to catch unsuspecting car park philanderers like us. What a way to get your Southern Bromley kicks.

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