During half term (which, praise the lord, ends tomorrow - or at least I think it ends tomorrow. If it doesn't it won't be the first time I have returned my son to an empty school) I found myself back in M&S. I can't even remember why. I think I spent most of half term wandering round in semi-crazed hormonal fog - but anyway I was in there and I was in there with two highly excitable children who, despite being constrained in a double trolley (the older one is SO over the size/weight limit and I do get very funny looks from people as a I shoe-horn him in muttering 'I know your thighs sting and your legs have gone fuzzy but you'll forgot about it soon'), were very much making their presence known.
The smaller child has this thing he does where he makes a noise not unlike a pterodactyl in full flight. EeeeeeeWaaAAA EeeeeeWaaAAA. The larger one then copies him. Only louder. So the smaller one does it even louder. And so it escalates. I do my best to shut them up but it's very hard to stop children under two making a noise if they want to (older ones can be threatened into submission).
And so it happens that as we cruise serenely down the 'Italian' aisle in the M&S food hall a sudden EeeeWaaaaAAAAAAA pierces the silence and elderly people clutch their hearts and fall into tubs of Ricotta. Thus we leave the Italian aisle in search of untainted shopping space and during a break from the Jurassic Park re-enactment I made the mistake of perusing the pot plants.
What I had failed to notice was that stacked next to the pot plants was a mountain of meringues. On turning back to the trolley my precious infant (hu hmm) was in the joyous possession of a large box of meringues. I don't know how he knows what a meringue is but clearly he does know and he knows that, when it comes to sugar intake, they are a very valuable commodity indeed.
A battle ensues. The battle for the meringues.
I would like to say the only casualty of the battle was the meringues but sadly not.
He clearly took the line of 'if I can't enjoy these, NOBODY WILL' and hurled them, with surprising force, across M&S and directly into the trousers of an elderly man.
They split open (the meringues that is, not the old man's trousers) and shattered all over the floor.
The old man looked at his trousers, looked at the meringues, looked at me and then looked back at his trousers again before fetching a shop assistant.
The shop assistant came over and asked me if I'd like to have a free Bag for Life in order celebrate 50 years of M&S. Not quite the reaction I was expecting but then again this is M&S. You can probably piss on the grapes and they will simply smile and ask if you would like them weighed.
I look my 'Bag for Life' and my box of a meringue dust and my pterodactyl children and my burning cheeks and left.
It may be a long time before I go back. Next stop Asda.....