On having sex in my car
(this blog isn’t really about having sex in my car, I just wrote that to get your attention. Cheap trick I know but if you read on you’ll discover I’m cheap. Also, have you noticed that so far everything’s been in brackets? Annoying isn’t it? Imagine if I wrote the whole thing in brackets. It would do your nut. You’d be thinking, ‘when is he going to close the brackets and get started?’. Imagine if the Bible had been written in brackets. Or the Guardian was called (the Guardian). Wouldn’t that be funny? OK, enough. I’m about to close the brackets. At which point you can relax and enjoy this blog which, whilst not about car sex, is still very very very interesting. Brackets closing….now)
I did this thing the other day. In fact, it wasn’t just the other day I did this thing. I always do this thing. I was in the supermarket buying paraffin, a knife and some rope when I viewed from a distance samples on the deli counter. Free samples, ladies and gentlemen. Of cheese. Free cheese, ladies and gentlemen. And so it begins.
The behavioural pattern kicks in when I start walking casually as if I haven’t noticed the samples, then feign surprise as I see, as if for the first time, the free cheese sitting pretty on the counter. As I approach it I slow right down such that I have plenty of time to espy the biggest piece. I have excellent eye sight for cheese – some people call me the cheese-owl – such that I can land straight in on the biggest chunk and pick it up immediately, as if I am merely selecting any old piece. Clearly I am no freeloader else I would have taken time to study the cheese and single out the largest lump for consumption. So, seemingly by accident I pick up the biggest piece via its cocktails stick and eat it. It is at this point I should inform you that I have no intention whatsoever of buying any of the cheese. It’s free – that’s all that matters in this equation. I wouldn’t care if it tasted like pizza or pu$$y, I wouldn’t buy any. Don’t they understand – it no longer looks like cheese. It just looks like free stuff. And who doesn’t like free stuff?
I am Saul, King of the Samplers
So I’ve eaten it, but so as not to make it obvious to everyone – because of course everyone is by now watching me – that I went over and effectively stole their cheese since I never had any intention of buying any, I make a particular noise, pull a particular face and cock my head to suggest that I am impressed and therefore in the market for this particular brand of cheese. The noise goes ‘mmm’ with a surprise lilt at the end, the face says, ‘I’m quite impressed by this cheese. You can tell quite clearly from my face that I know a great deal about cheese. Maybe I’ve even been on a cheese course. Perhaps I’ll purchase some, though you can also see from my face that perhaps I won’t’, and the head is simply cocked. Maybe there is a small, steady nod, too – and, on occasion, a de Niro-esque turning down of the lips (picture it, please).
Now, people, let us draw back the curtain of pretence
The people behind the counter know what is happening. They see it on all the days they’ve got samples on the go (incidentally I wonder if it’s possible to get a list of times and dates when they know they are to be presenting samples). We’re all in on it, yet we all keep schtum and play our parts. My next move is to glide slowly away from the counter until I am far enough from the samplers – let us say five metres – that my conscience will allow me to relax once more and walk normally. I am free – like the cheese – and am able to be myself again. I suppose what I am, in fact, illustrating here is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. If it were truly free I wouldn’t feel the need to put on this vaudevillian act. Perhaps other people don’t bother. But then perhaps other people aren’t so bothered about getting free stuff at the supermarket as I am.
The Second Visit
Once I am free I will continue on my merry way through the supermarket, yet all the being pestered in my thoughts by the dark notion of the second visit. The second visit is, in simple parlance, pushing things. It’s not really on. But also, you know, it’s only cheese. And it’s free. And you know what else? The people behind the counter couldn’t give a fuck whether you go back for seconds or not. There is a 50s-style rebellion to the second visit, a flouting of polite social convention. Picture Marlon Brando doing it, Or Jimmy Dean. Those who go up for a second visit are blithely flouting society’s unwritten rules. “I don’t care what society expects of me,” you are saying. “I’m not going to play by the rules!” You’re a rebel. Look at you! More free cheese? You don’t care what the world thinks of people like you! You do what you want and to hell with the consequences! So you schwing by and, without slowing down, cocking your head or pausing to go ‘mmm’, you grab two more stick and head straight for the checkout.
Or is that just me?
(this blog is dedicated to Tara and Stephen who think I like cheese to much)