The curse of the O.A.P.

(posted by Gordon)

Mike, mind I use your site to rant? No? Wonderful (such a lovely man…)

I’ll preface this by saying that I know one day I will be old(er), but I will never be a woman, and this is about “wee old wummin”.

I nipped to the shops at lunchtime to pick up my Halloween costume, and then zipped into Marks to buy some sandwiches. I picked up my items (3 of them) and joined the ‘express’ queue for 5 items or less. In front of me in the queue were two “wee old wummin”, you know the type – slightly hunched, shortsighted (but wouldn’t lower themselves to wear glasses), with tight white hair, 5 cardigans and a heavy coat.

They shuffled forward carrying a basket between them, at a glance I could tell there were more than 5 items in there.

They get to the checkout and tell the young lady that the shopping is split between them and they don’t think they have more than 5 items each… as they tell her this, they pull and prod at the shopping like a child who hasn’t yet learned to count.

The next checkout is free so I step forward.

If you have shopped in Marks you may have noticed some of the tills display, not only the amount due, but the number of items purchased. The first “wee old wummin” was paying for her 7 items as I got to my checkout, and as I was receiving my change I heard the second “wee old wummin” pip up… “I think you’ve got my change wrong dear”. I glanced across and noticed she had purchased 8 items. (You can see where this is heading, can’t you…)

The checkout girl checks the change, and apologises for her error, handing “wee old wummin” number two her extra 5p.

Queue Gordon, in a probably too loud voice:

“Ohh you CAN count then!”

Followed by a swift turn on my heel, a snatching up of my shopping and a fuming, glaring exit from the store.

My point? Wee old wummin get away with bloody murder!!!! Yes I was brought up to respect my elders, but only when they are worthy of it. It was quite obvious to me, and from the tuts, sighs, and pointed looks being thrown their way by other members of the queue, quite obvious to everyone else*, that these two ‘old dears’ were at it.

I should possibly point out that this is out of character, I had had less than 5 hours sleep (always makes me grumpy) and less than 10 minutes before had lost out on a parking space because another “wee old wummin” had gone the wrong way round the car park to get to it first. Petty? Yes, but I was in a bad mood and didn’t really need an excuse. Not big, not clever either, blah blah blah…

Wisely enough, the man collecting for the Sally Army outside the store didn’t rattle his can in my direction. I may very well have told him where to put his donation!!!!

* I must’ve missed my ovation in my rush to get out of the store.

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