Unexpected item in post area

On February 13th I received a card in the post. This was surprising. I was deep undercover, pretending to be nonchalant about Valentine’s Day, and this wasn’t helping. So I let myself have a few moments of idle dreaming that it was the start of some wonderful new chapter that would likely be the inspiration for the best romcom ever, probably starring one of the impossibly good-looking identical bearded people from Game of Thrones and ending with an amazingly witty and well lit set piece on top of a London Eye bubble that’d be a bit like Sleepless in Seattle but without Bill Pullman being sad which I always felt a bit bad about and it’s great that he ended up with Sandra Bullock later and ANYWAY then I opened the envelope and pulled out a card with a giant blue heart on the front. This was downright ridiculous. I went through some flights of fancy that render the previous sentence a mere plankton in the ocean of wut before I opened the card and found a wedding invitation. This was disappointing. It’s literally, literally the opposite of a Valentine’s card. Some other people had achieved Peak Couple, and kindly let me know. I vowed vengeance at once, in the form of RSVP-ing with a yes.

Basically my brain has realised I’m going to be thirty soon, and is going quietly but comprehensively batshit. I was standing at the Tesco self-checkout machine last month, and spideysense peripheral vision alerted me to the presence of someone quite pretty at the next unit. And here is an actual thought that went through my actual head: I know, what’ll I’ll do is be really really smooth at processing my shopping.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking that’d certainly be one to tell the grandkids. Well, my friend, what you don’t know is that I totally did some research on the Tesco self-checkout machines last year. I say research. Basically I trial-and-errored for a few weeks to find the minimum number of words that Checkout Lady has to say. Here are the results:

  • Paying by credit card: 2
  • Paying by cash: 0

So, yes. I don’t like to brag, but clearly I have the Tesco checkout machine skills. If only I had been able to express this at the time, things might have been different. Maybe I should have some kind of card printed, should the situation recur. Maybe I should send it to my engaged friends. That would show them.

Then on Valentine’s day proper I decided to avoid a repeat of last year’s debacle by watching The Fifth Element, which is clearly the Thing To Do even if I always spend the next week having to resist walking up to strangers and saying ‘MULTIPASS’. But then Tesco had Crazy, Stupid Love for a fiver and I watched that instead and it was amazing and I’m probably not helping my subconscious deal with its trauma am I.

Hopefully I will return to normal sapience in due course. In the meantime, I will reveal the Secrets of the Tesco Machine upon PayPal-based request.