He hated grocery shopping, hated the time it took. But he came up with a method. People bought the same things, more or less. So he would look for someone of his type, sneak up behind them and roll their fully-laden trolley off to the checkout.
It made life interesting. Often there were things he would never have bought; once there was a fat orange pumpkin.
But today he was in trouble. He had been stealing mostly from women because he liked the sense of order to their selections, but his victim had spied him and was stomping over. There were women's products in the cart, so it was going to be difficult. He decided to pretend he knew her.
'Darling, I'll just get eggs'
'We’ve got eggs' The woman chirped. 'Listen, do you want to go out to the car? You look stressed. You can listen to your tape'.
We are the robots
She was the third girlfriend to ditch me this year. ‘We went to this club,’ I told Gary, ‘and at the end of the night she’d completely changed. She was distant, hostile.’
He looked at me over the rim of his spectacles ‘Did you dance?’
‘Well,’ I poked at a beer mat.
‘At one point I did throw a few shapes.’
He tilted his head towards me.
‘Did you do the robotics?’
‘What was the music?’
Gary removed his spectacles and rubbed his eyes. ‘How many times have we been through this – you hear the music, you do the robotics.’ He picked up his coat. ‘No woman will stand for it.’
Later I was on the floor. A moog bass line squelched, a metallic snare ripped the air, I was part of a machine, a valve in the heart of a bleeping gnashing metal beast.
About the author:
David Gaffney was born in West Cumbria, studied in Birmingham and now lives in Manchester. He has worked as an English teacher, a film studies lecturer, a holiday camp entertainer, a medical records clerk, a pub pianist,a debt counsellor in Moss Side, a legal consultant in Liverpool, and now works for the arts council. He has had stories published in the Illustated Ape, Ambit, Ephemera, Rant, and many other places, and his new novel, Something In The Way, a collaboration with Nick Thompson, is available to publishers now.
© 2011 Word Riot