6 minutes to read

I made a loose reference in a previous post (why, here it is) to a story involving an accusation of shoplifting, Sainsbury’s, and a Pain au Chocolat. 

Like, two readers requested that story in full, so here it is. As a disclosure of my transparency as a writer, I promise that I’ve not embellished it for comedic effect. It really was this fucking ludicrous.

November 2015

I’m in Sainsbury’s. Mouse is strapped in to her buggy, and Moo is still growing away nicely in my womb. I’m picking up a morsel for our lunch and, because I’m such a generous mum, I allow Mouse to choose herself a roll from the loose bakery items section. She opts for a tiger jobby, I go for rustic olive. This is important for later, store that nugget away.

I give her the plastic bag containing the two aforementioned rolls to hold, in order to shut her up while I amass some other crap. Possibly a sharing pack of Minstrels and some face wash, which I seem to be incapable of not buying on a weekly basis.

We weave a merry path to the self service checkout and I run everything through, leaving the bag of loose rolls until last because Mouse will loose her shit if I prise them from her paws a second earlier than is strictly necessary.

I look up the rolls on the screen, enter a quantity of two, priced at 30p each (I notice that they’re now a regular price of 25p, loving your work Sainsbury’s). I complete the transaction, and give Mouse the receipt to hold because she’s odd like that. I am now, of course, a fully paid up and honest patron of this fine store.

“I’ve done a poo.” announces Mouse, still in nappies at this point (note from present self to past self – my darling, you’ll have exactly two months between Mouse being potty trained and giving birth to a new shitty arse, enjoy the freedom).

“Right, well we’re off home now, I’ll change you before lunchy, OK?” (Fuck’s sake, just say lunch like a grown up.)

But then, what with being a preggo, I’m suddenly experiencing a low level piss leakage because I had the audacity to cough without first bracing my pelvic sling against an imminent flood, so I figure we’ll have a quick shuffle into the toilet after all.

I need to mock up a panty liner with folds of tissue, dab the wet patch from my gusset, and change a shitty toddler bum. I also need to text a friend about a boy and check my work emails even though it’s my day off and I’m a diligent twat. All of these things take some time, I’d estimate ten minutes.

I bundle up the nappy and put it in the bin, along with the slightly chewed receipt that I’ve prised from Mouse’s claws.

We exit the toilet, and I am immediately pounced upon by a member of staff, who I’ll name Barbara.

Barbara stands in my path and is flanked by a slightly dubious looking security guard.

“That’s her. That’s the woman.” Barbara jabs a finger at me.

“When you were going through the checkout, I noticed that your baby [sorry, you mean the 2.5 year old child?] was holding a bag from the bakery.”

“Er, yes, she was.”

“Did you put all of the items in the bag through the checkout?”

“Yes, of course I did!”

“Because I can’t see all the items on my back end report. May I see your receipt?”

Now is not the time to muse over her back end report. I forage around for the receipt before remembering it’s in the nappy bin. I abandon the buggy, retreat back into the toilet, and delve in, feeling thankful that I didn’t place the receipt inside the shitty nappy for tidiness.

I proffer the receipt to Barbara, who is warming to her theme. She dramatically pulls her glasses from the top of her head and tuts her way down the list of items. I’m pretty glad I didn’t pick up Femfresh today.

“No, it’s not on here. You’ve paid for two rolls, not one roll and a Pain au Chocolat.”

“Er, I brought two rolls and no Pain au Chocolat…?”

“But I saw it in the bag that the baby was holding. One white roll and one Pain au Chocolat. You’ve put it through as two rolls at 30p each.”

Fuck this bullshit. I wonder if I should alert her to the fact that I’m six months pregnant, in an attempt to assuage some sort of sympathy, then remember I haven’t actually stolen anything. I am in the right, dammit.

“I would like to see the bag please.” Then, in a slightly muted voice, she repeats to the security guard that she’d like to see the bag. I can’t bring myself to make eye contact with him in case I look guilty or cry. As a preggo, I cannot be trusted with the whole not crying thing. 

“Right. Here you go, one bag, two rolls.”

Barbara looks like I’ve punched her kitten in the face. “Ah. I see. It’s an olive roll.”

“Yes, that’s my lunch, an olive roll.”

“I thought it was a Pain au Chocolat.”

All of us peer at the olive roll, in its cellophane cloak of deception.

“Definitely an olive roll there.” chimes in the security guard. Yay! A cohort against Barbara! I still might cry though so I avoid his gaze.

“I thought that the olives looked like the bits of chocolate that poke out the end of a Pain au Chocolat, you see.”

No, Barbara, what you fucking thought is that to save myself all of 50p, I’d bung a Pain au Chocolat in with a tiger roll because they both weigh the same, then gobble it up in the TOILET because I’m so greedy and pregnant and poor that I can’t control myself.

“Are we done?” My BFF the security guard is probs due for his lunch and all this talk of olives and rolls must be making him ravenous for a cheese sarnie.

“I think so. Sorry madam but we get all sorts in here and I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t check.”

“Oh absolutely, I completely understand.” Please please please don’t cry in front of Barbara.

Our path is clear, we’re free to go. Mental note: need to give this place a wide berth for a week.

“Mummy?” Mouse pipes up. “Mummy, did you get me a panno shockola?”

And that, dear reader, is how I erroneously got questioned for shoplifting a Pain au Chocolat and stuffing my face with it in the baby change at Sainsbury’s. I feel much better for sharing, thank you.

-SJW November 2016

Mouse Moo Me Too

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