“Wow, Dad! I’ve won a free trolley run at Sainsbury’s. Five minutes to cram all I can into two trollies,” shouted my Mom through to the kitchen, where Dad was trying to dunk his Ginger Nuts into his tea without messing up his copy of the Daily Telegraph.
A week later they were at the entrance to Sainsbury’s, all fired up and ready to go. Three middle-to-old-aged ladies each determined to get to the salmon and caviar first. The local paper was there, as were the family supporters. I cheered, “Come on Mom, you can do it!”
An Olympic-style starting pistol was fired and off they went. Mom reached the salmon first. I had never seen her so pumped up with energy, like an overwound clockwork doll. She cleared ten tins of John West best red salmon in the blink of an eye. Then she was on to the fresh meat and steaks, Dads favourite. After less than a minute the trolley was half full, enough food to last a year at least.
Then came the chicane! A food pallet was parked in the aisle. Mom and a huge woman in big flowery dress which looked as if her massive breasts would fly out of their own accord at any minute collided as they simultaneously went for the narrow opening. My Mom gave a reactionary shove with her left arm, left a flowery mess on the floor behind her shouting and gurgling as though she was breathing her last. Mom didn’t care! On she went towards the frozen foods.
Ice cream, fish, pizzas. You name it, she grabbed it. She was given a second trolley as the first was full, and only two minutes gone. Wow!” Go mum go!”
But racing in from behind her the enemy retaliated, hurtling past the canned soups. The fat one was back on her feet and in fighting mood. As she charged past, her trolley hooked onto Moms dress. It spun her round in surprise with a 2kg pack of frozen cod in her hand. I saw it in slow motion. As she rotated with the forward force of the trolley the fillets flapped widely and connected perfectly onto the jaw of her foe. The woman went down for a second time; this time out for the count.
Mom was oblivious to this woman’s plight. She surged on grabbing, seizing, snatching, and two-handed as though her life depended on it.
Finally a loud whistle sounded and it was over.
The three women, all bedraggled, arrived at the check-out; the flowered one trying secretly to reinstate her left breast back into its wayward cup, with disappointment and anger transparent on her blotchy red face. It was never intended to be a competition, all three could win and take whatever they could manage, but the three had turned it into a battle for supremacy which made the Ali-Frazier bout seem tame by comparison.
“Eighty-six pounds thirty six pence worth of goods for Mrs Stevens, thirty-two for ….”
The rest was drowned out by the applause for Mom. She had shown admirable competitive spirit and determination. With a self-satisfied smile she shook the hands of the other women, squeezing especially hard with you-know-who.
Dad had enough salmon and steaks to keep him going for a while. I never underestimated Mom again.