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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Back on March 30th I raised the terrifying possibility of David Van Day coming after me personally and turning up at my flat in the dead of night, hell-bent on revenge. Or possibly just my vote. Well, it pains me to say it, but the day has finally come when... um... the Day has finally come.

Having unexpectedly run out of pineapple chunks and Curly-Wurlys, Lisa and I decided to go to Asda yesterday evening. So at 7:45pm we strolled out of the front door, and who should we see walking towards us down the road looking sweaty in a big rosette..? (I think I may have given away the answer already). It was David Van Day, knocking on doors in Eastern Road (and not getting many responses). He was only three doors away from mine, so two minutes later and we'd have been confronted by the man himself and asked "Will you be voting Conservative, or are you still Making Your Mind Up?". Well that's what I imagine he'd have said. I could be wrong.

I was tempted to seize the Day and tell him what I think of his policies, but in the end we just walked past as though we didn't know who he was. I expect he's used to that.

It was a missed opportunity for David though, because unbeknownst to him, the Lib Dems had successfully managed to lose my vote earlier that day with the election leaflet they pushed through my letterbox. In it they make six firm pledges, the first of which is to "Make our area greener, cleaner, brighter places to live with more street trees". Which, I'm afraid to say, is the final nail in their election coffin for me.

There are three trees in the stretch of Eastern Road where I park my car, and if I'm forced to park within a few yards of any one of them, my beautiful Skoda gets covered in bird poo within a matter of hours. It's reached the stage where I'd rather park in a different street than leave my car under a tree. So if the Lib Dems are promising to plant more of them in my road, then I'm voting Labour, simple as that.

Poor AvailabilityBut anyhoo, having seen the Day when the Tories came to call, Lisa and I continued on to Asda, headed straight for the milk section, and discovered the sign on the right.

I presume their "ordering system" consists of a bloke with a telephone, and the "technical error" was him not making a call to the dairy. But the question is, what does "poor availability" mean..?

Well, it means no milk whatsoever.

Wot No Milk

They did have some chocolate milkshakes left, but if I wanted that on my Rice Krispies I'd be buying Coco Pops. As it turned out though, the wildcat strike by the union of cows was the least of our worries. Arriving at the checkouts at 8:50pm, we found that Asda, with their ongoing pledge to open more checkouts at the drop of a hat, had closed all but three of them. Each of which featured a lengthy queue.

So we joined the least gargantuan, and waited. After ten minutes the supervisor walked past, was asked to open some more checkouts, and informed us that they didn't have any staff free until 10pm. Cheered by the news that things would improve within the hour, we continued waiting. At which point a lady in the adjacent queue, who was in possession of the fullest trolley the world has ever seen, decided to switch queues and join her friend who happened to be in front of us. When we politely pointed out that she was in the other queue and can't just push in front of us with half the contents of the store in her trolley, she replied:

"Yeah, but this queue's moving quicker."

You've got to admire her honesty. She then added:

"Have you got a problem with that?"

As unreasonable as it may sound, we did have a problem with that, but having argued calmly for a couple of minutes with two women who looked like extras from Prisoner Cell Block H, we didn't seem to have a choice. We'd have asked the Asda staff for assistance, but needless to say there weren't any. They were probably all down the Co-op buying milk.

We were finally served at 9:25pm by a till operator who was supposed to finish work at nine. But the good news is, if you've ever wondered what happens to your Haagen Dazs when you stand in a supermarket queue for 35 minutes behind two cows with no milk, we can tell you.