A LONG time I've been waiting for my psychic powers to develop.
About two years, I'd say. Everyone else seems to have this unspoken means of communication allowing them to glide around one another like robots. Or giant mice using invisible whiskers as guides.
Maybe while I've been staying at home reading the Man Booker shortlist over pots of tea others have been growing eyes in the backs of their heads.
It's the only reason I can think of for why "excuse me" is a dodo phrase. Why did it stop, I'd like to know?
Instead, your fellow customers will hover behind you, just in your blind spot, and wait for you to magically shift out of the way. Passive-aggressively, I refuse to move until the person says the words. This is no good for anyone.
But it's not just "excuse me", it's all awkward social interaction with strangers in the street. Folk just don't talk to one another.
For example: the scene is Sainsburys and I'm at the self-service checkouts. A woman hovers nearish to the checkout, her arms empty and her gaze somewhere in the middle distance. I plop my four items on to the counter and the woman lets out a strangled laugh as if she has seen something so shocking words can't articulate it. Baffled, I look at the Sainsburys staff member who has appeared. She draws me a filthy look.
My fellow shopper takes up position at the self service till attached, back-to-back, with mine where, it turns out, she has a pile of shopping.
I glance up and she is looking over the top of the till at me. She looks at me like I'm the most disgusting creature she ever laid eyes on, like I've eaten a helpless kitten in front of her without cutlery. The staff member is still deploying her filthy face in my direction.
My eyes scan back and the customer is still there, shaking her head. Shaking her head and vomiting plumes of disgust from her eyes.
"This is what David Cameron must feel like," I thought, feeling the heat of her inexplicable waves of rage.
Did I queue-jump her, unwittingly? If she'd just said so, I would have apologised and we could have all gone home happily. The staff member could have stopped pretending she was starring in Mean Girls. I wouldn't have to change supermarkets.
Like I say, I need to work on my psychic powers. Or procure some giant mice whiskers. I bet if I had some giant mice whiskers she would have left me alone.
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