Monday, 11 January 2010

Snow, salt and frozen peas

This weekend I ventured into hell. Just an average Saturday afternoon doing the weekly shop. It's usually busy. Hyper kids running along aisles, breaking eggs. Babies howling in abandoned trolleys by the milk or frozen peas. Elderly shoppers inconveniently taking up space as they tick off their shopping lists with shaky hands. This time, there was one extra variable that changed everything. It had snowed.

As a result, Tesco morphed into a dystopian horror film where I expected blood and fire at every turn. Women fought over loaves of bread. Men arm wrestled for pints of milk and argued over tubs of salt. Children watched with frightened eyes wondering what in hell happened to all the adults.

Attempting to manoeuvre around the aisles, prams bashing into the backs of my heels, trolleys ploughing into mine, I stopped. Up into the clouds I floated and peered down at the manic ants around me. Row upon row of empty shelves. Nothing left except ice. Pet food. And marmite. Turns out people don't love it after-all.

What is it about the sight of snow that generates mass hysteria? Outside temperatures freeze but inside, our own mercury goes into meltdown. It is highly unlikely that people are going to starve to death without five loaves of bread and eight pints of milk. A little bit of the white stuff (snow, I mean snow) and madness breeds faster than the horniest of hamsters.

Since last Wednesday, we've had five inches of snow in London. People couldn't even make a proper snow angel with that pathetic excuse for a snowfall. But they can make five hundred sandwiches and ten thousand cups of tea, should the need arise.

The mind boggles.


  1. I know just what you mean. Ma-in-law is stocking up on all the above plus torch batteries and candles in case of electricity power cuts and several electric radiators in case of gas supplies being cut. Goodness knows how she'll run the radiators with no electricity?

  2. "A 500 to 1/3 ratio of sandwiches to snow angels is ideal." -Stephen Hawking

  3. Hey, another great post. But I am now questioning your commitment to the cause - I managed to make an angel in Liverpool and we had less snow than you.
    Also, I've found people being nicer in this weather - especially on the road. Mind you, I haven't been silly enough to go to Tesco Lou...

  4. Petty: Obviously people's common sense departs when a bit of bad weather approaches. Maybe mother-in-law thinks fairies are going to power the electric radiators?

    Hunter: You must lend me your book of quotations. Not sure i've heard that one...

    Fish: You lie. This is not a great post. I'm lacking inspiration, sadly. Fear not, hopefully will be back with something infinitely more readable!

    Also i am offended by your suggestion that i'm not committed to the cause of making snow angels. I tried. Our garden is covered in shapes of me trying!

    And yeah, i live in a crap area. Nice people are few and far between...

    Anon: Yeah. I'm funny. Well, i try.

  5. Hey Lou! Oh we have the same problem. Traffic jams in the parking lots of the grocery stores. Empty shelves, etc. Man. I don't even go anymore. I know we always have something to eat. I do not want to deal with that.

    Say the novel is coming along? I can't wait to hear about it. I am so very excited. I always thought you should write one. Let me know how it's going. I'll be back. Good luck Lou. Keep writing my friend!!

  6. Ha ha very funny and saly very true...
    Kate xxx

  7. Robyn: I am about to write a post about my novel now! And perhaps include an excerpt. But i'm nervous about it. It may seem like complete rubbish. It's hard putting your work out there.

    Kate: Thanks for commenting! :)


Go on. It's free...