Cupid's dart puts a stop to Vinny's supermarket dash
Mr Ormondroyd called everyone to attention. “Remember reindeers, you have five minutes to complete the course, or else you’ll be disqualified. Rudolph is up first. Right, on my whistle. One, two, three.”
With that, there was a loud peep and Rudolph galloped off at a fierce lick, with the shoppers offering encouragement. One by one, the reindeer raced up and down the aisles, loading here, discarding there, pushing onwards.
As he pawed at the start line, Vinny was given an update from a breathless Brennie. “It’s unofficial but you’ve €147 to beat, Rudolph still leads.”
Vinny nodded. He had a fair idea of what was needed. As Mr Ormondroyd peeped for the final time, Vinny scampered down the fruit and veg aisle, ignoring the heavy spuds, which would have slowed him down.
Vinny’s trolley was almost empty until he got to the meat and poultry section, where he grabbed a pack of fillet steaks, and an organic chicken.
He then held off until the cereals section where he tossed in a large box of cornflakes – always over-priced – and jars of premium compotes and preserves.
Turning into aisle four, a sweating Vinny licked his lips. He had reached the detergents and was in front on the clock. Quickly, he lobbed in a pack of washing powder, some dishwasher tablets and a bottle of fabric conditioner – all expensive.
There was one aisle left, hygiene, and Vinny had his eye on a pricey electric toothbrush, fancy after-shave and the high-end men’s razor blades.
The timer in his head told him he’d about 30 seconds left. “Come on Ralph, we can do this,” he said aloud.
With quick hands, Vinny loaded up the final items and began his push for the tape. He could see Mr Ormondroyd at the finishing line, surrounded by roaring shoppers and could hear them counting down “10, 9, 8, 7.” He was almost there.
And then, out of nowhere, something sharp, antler-like, speared him in the mid-riff. He called out in pain, reached for his ribs with one hand and lost control of his trolley which skidded into layers of confectionary by the check-outs. As Vinny tumbled to the floor, the cornflake box went skywards and came down hard on his bonce, breaking apart and scattering flakes all over the shop. Instinctively, Vinny scrambled to his feet and tried to shove his precious cargo back into the trolley but it was too late. He was counted down, and out, by Neville Ormondroyd.
Some 20 minutes later, Vinny was back in his civvies and crossing the car park in Dolan’s with Brennie. “I was nobbled Brennie, nobbled I tell you,” he said angrily.
Just then, a gold Jaguar pulled up alongside and a window rolled down. “You okay, there Ralphie?” said a honeyed voice Vinny recognised. “It was you, you little vixen,” he hissed. Jackie feigned innocence. “Me? Oh, come on. I’m no vixen. I was Cupid remember?”
With that she pulled away, leaving a sensual fragrance hanging in the Clontarf air.
Bets of the week
2pts Quevega to win World Hurdle (5/1, William Hill)
2pts West Brom to beat Norwich in Premier League (Evens, general)
1pt Lay Ulster to win Heineken Cup (15/2, Paddy Power, liability 7.5pts)