Lawlessly Yours column

Bill Lawless.
Bill Lawless.

The best place to observe nature in the raw is not Chester Zoo but any of the large supermarkets in which I have spent many a happy hour observing human nature red in tooth and claw.

A common sighting is ladies with backsides you could slice a loaf on and cleavages that would make Cheddar Gorge feel like an amateur, shoving heavily-laden trollies accompanied by a battalion of kids like foot soldiers following main battle tanks.

Oaths are shrieked and ear’oles thickened as the invasion steams on and the booze section gets a pillaging that would earn the approval of Erik Bloodaxe, the well-known Viking rapist and pillager.

No-one dares interfere in the now illegal ear’ole department, incidentally, or police reinforcements would have to be drafted in from Preston.

But amusement swiftly ceases when you are in the bleedin’ place as a customer and join the queue at the checkout where the mood quickly changes into red-misted fury. Why do so many women wait until their purchases have been registered and packed until they grope in their handbags for the money?

But first they have to dig handbags out from under a trolleyful of stuff while the rest of the queue glares and the cashiers gaze on as enigmatic as Mona Lisa.

They are trained to look like Buddha contemplating the infinite.

The slightest flicker of agreement or otherwise with a customer becomes a ‘jobsworth’ situation.

When the handbag is dicovered a wallet is located, various studs are unpopped and a purse is revealed yielding a another secured by a zip fastener which is usually jammed shut.

Finally it is unjammed and money is revealed.

But maybe not. She will then produce her plastic and remember she has forgotten her PIN. At this point signs of mutiny sweep through the queue.

The next-door checkout will be opened and the customers behind you are in poll position to swap tills, leaving you standing there like Jack Pudden.

The last time all this happened to me I hissed through clenched teeth: ‘****** hell.’ Unfortunately they weren’t clenched tightly enough and the bloke in front of me heard it.

He said, also through clenched teeth ‘Hope they do mate. And I hope they don’t have any supermarkets down there either.’

I loved that – particularly the ‘down there’ bit. There are times when a trip to Morrisons, indeed any similar establishment, can be most rewarding.