Saturday, 10 May 2008


“Please pay six pounds and eighty-five pence," intoned the machine, in a flat but exigent voice.
I caught the idea. "How would you like it?" I asked. “Cash or card?”

(A long pause).

"Is a bottle of Blanco Seco, a loaf of French bread and a tin of Atlantic prawns any inducement to talk?" I asked.
"Six Pounds and eighty-five pence," the machine said.

And on this basis we actually got down to a business deal of great benefit to both sides. The check-out had been done slowly and deliberately as befitted a transaction of such significance. Up to the moment, of course, when I made the grave blunder of mistaking the slot where your money goes for the one that swallows the voucher. Which voucher? To what purpose? This was getting perfectly rotten. I bent over the machine: “If I don't get that money back, it's your ass...”

“Ahh...I do like the view!”

It was the way this was said, don't you know, the tone of voice that made me perk up considerably.
“...and what a nice way to wear those panties!“

Put like that, it didn’t seem unreasonable (nor unwelcome!), but - trust me on this - it wasn’t the machine who’d said it, it was the man behind. I think he was pleased to see me.

“Those stilettos are registered as deadly weapons on at least five continents,“ he continued, “ooops...let’s see if you can touch your toes! Or would you rather I got your money back?” He was a handsome man with a remarkable presence.

“How are you going to do it?” I inquired; and, “please, keep your hands where I can see them.”

“It's quite simple.” (He also had the aspect of a distinctly determined heavy) “Clobber it.” He meant the machine. “It only requires a little resolution.”

Perhaps to avoid such punishment, the machine refused to engage in conversation of any kind. The atmosphere was electric. The queue behind me added to the euphoria.

“There's only one thing to do,” I said. “We’ll have to call an assistant.”

This was a tall, almost regal woman, dressed in a smart headscarf, with a round ruby face, and startling big brown eyes, the kind of veiled apparition you see on travel posters of desert resorts. Nobody seemed to know who she was or whence she came. Indeed, it was hard to believe she was the little precious of a pious master who prostrated himself five times a day in the direction of Mecca. And the substance of her unspoken thoughts, kindly divined by the man behind: "You stupid stuck up bitch - you should be made to crawl all the way to Afghanistan and kiss the boots of Osama bin Laden." (Only he didn’t say “boots”. He said “f****** boots”).

"I don't understand," I said.

"Precisely!" she said matter-of-factly.

She then produced a bundle of keys and deftly proceeded to take the machine apart.

“There you are," said the man. She had somehow won his argument for him.

They were right, of course! And no one should be surprised to learn that both, I and the machine felt chastened and meek when confronted with this volcanic method of dealing with a righteous task. I owe a very great deal to both of them, the man and the woman, and herewith send them my thanks and my kindest regards...



Anonymous said...

crikey!! I have never found one that talks before - but you do have a nice bottom! Is it a talking bottom?

Thomas the Wage Mule said...

This country is run by ruby faced women in smart head-scarves. God bless them.

Selena Dreamy said...

"Is it a talking bottom?

Absolutely not,Mutley.

(As for the machines, you'll find them at Tesco's)

All Shook Up said...

The guy had more luck than I usually do when I'm stuck in a queue.

Couple of questions though... just how many ways ARE there to wear panties? And were you bending VERY low or was the guy only 4 feet tall?

Selena Dreamy said... many ways? many as there are to skin a cat!

Anonymous said...

The one at tescoes is fine. It doesnt talk it flashes....

Selena Dreamy said...
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