Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Trolley pash

Today I was in the branch of Starbucks that nestles (or should I say Nestlés) inside my local branch of Sainsbury's (big up, you tiny local businesses) doing some work and minding my own cappucino. I wasn't working for Sainsbury's or Starbucks, although I am precocious in my grasp of the self-checkout. 

Before too long, an elderly couple came and sat opposite me. There was nothing remarkable about them, clothed as they were from the conventional over-70s lookbook of tartan, quilting and the darker neutrals. There were no wedding rings on display, so I took the view that they were on a shop-date.

Given that they had plumped for the sofa directly opposite mine, rather than the many, many vacant chairs and tables all around us, I wondered whether Mr Silver-Haired Shop-Date had chosen that particular side-by-side seating arrangement as groundwork for the classic 'yawn, arm-stretch, lateral-embrace' courting sequence.  But of course it was nothing so vulgar. Perhaps they had simply chosen the sofa for its proximity to the window, and the conversational aid provided by the view (as small talk can be taxing on such occasions). The rain, he correctly surmised, was holding off. 

They each had a cup of tea, of course, and shared a cheese sandwich on white bread which, with admirable daring, they had brought in from Sainsbury's itself (rather than buying a modish Starbucks wrap) and conspiratorially opened up the packaging under cover of a plastic bag.

Charming, of course, but soon my eyes were drawn to a far more romantic spectacle – their tartan shopping trolleys smooching together beside the table. Here they are, in all their erotically charged glory. To the left of the frame, you can see the lined notebook I was furtively using as a shield for my cameraphone. 

Tea drained and sandwich eaten, they trundled out of the shop and away across the car park. What with it only being 4pm, it wasn't exactly into the sunset, but aptly, they walked under a grey, overcast sky with the faint promise of some sunshine.

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