The Blame Game

Earlier this afternoon, I made the weekly trip to the huge Tesco on the edge of the local town. With all the leftovers to eat, I didn’t exactly have a long shopping list, but we needed a few everyday essentials. On top of those, we decided to have a ‘Tapas’ buffet on New Year’s Eve, so there was an extra list to see what I could get to add to that.

The shop was busy, something to be expected on its first full day of trading after the seasonal closures.

I headed to the aisle where you can get boring things you need, like bin-liners.
They were in stock.

In the same area is tinfoil. The shelves were bare. Well, not exactly bare as the usual long boxes of assorted sizes of tinfoil had been replaced by rows of ‘tinfoil containers’. Despite suspecting the answer in advance, I approached a young man who was removing empty cardboard from the shelf. I asked if there was any tinfoil in the stockroom. “We have these”, he said pointing out some takeaway-style tinfoil boxes with paper lids. I told him I couldn’t spread those on the inside of a roasting tin, or wrap up opened cheese in them. His reply was boringly predictable.

“Sorry, it’s Covid. Oh, and Christmas. We are short of drivers and are waiting on deliveries”.

I headed to the deli counter, to buy some fresh anchovies in oil, Spanish-style, to add to our Tapas buffet. There were none visible. I asked a man at the fish counter, his beard reminiscent of that sported by the famous W.G. Grace, and strangely contorted by his face mask. He looked perplexed, and went to get someone. He returned with a lady who looked very confident. “She’s the fish-buyer”, he told me, his beard moving like a furry glove puppet under the mask.

The lady knew her stuff.

“Anchovies? I can tell you we don’t have an anchovy left in the shop, not even in jars or tins, let alone fresh. Sorry, it’s the Covid, and Brexit. A shortage of drivers, and they are imported too of course. We haven’t had an anchovy in this shop since Christmas Eve, and no idea when they will be back in stock”.

I thanked her for her efforts.

Having decided to cook a Chinese stir fry at the weekend, I was pleased to find Pak Choi, Fresh Noodles in boxes, and a nice mix of Chinese vegetables, also fresh in a box. I added two duck breasts in plum sauce to my trolley, and the went in search of some Shiitake mushrooms. There were only white mushrooms on the shelf, so I asked a man who was loading spring onions into a section.

He didn’t actually laugh, but I could tell he wanted to.

“Shiitake mushrooms? Nah, none left. They are imported you know, and we have problems with drivers ’cause of Covid and Brexit. And it’s Christmas, don’t forget that. They get time off, like anyone else. Sorry”.

I smiled back at him, under my mask. I think he could tell I was smiling as I asked him who he was going to blame once there was no Covid, it wasn’t Christmas, and Brexit was ‘normal’. He shrugged as he replied.

“They will find something to blame it on, I’m sure”.

52 thoughts on “The Blame Game

  1. I hope you managed some kind of New Year’s Eve Tapas, Pete. I had an upmarket Indian meal with a friend last evening…delicious and no prep, cooking or washing up, he did the dishes for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here apparently everything is stuck in containers in one port or another. I think it is a ruse to get people to buy the awful colors and models of cars that they could never sell otherwise. And at jacked up prices1

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh …all the covid excuses trotted out and if it isn’t covid it’s climate change that is responsible for all the ills in the world even ones that have been around since Band Aid’s first recording…Happy New Year, Pete xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I would have been in a mood. Yesterday I went to Costco and found everything. The store here are totally out of cream cheese, which seems odd. And Amazon isn’t having any problems, while L.L. Bean has many items backordered. I can’t find a pattern.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. haha, I know what you mean. I sometimes need to go to 3 stores to get one item. It seems no matter which day of the week I shop, the truck is always due in later that day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Overheard at B&Q: “I headed to the aisle where you can get boring things you need, like augers and drill bits. They were in stock.”
    Overheard at Tesco #1: “Have you seen our wide selection of tin foil hats? Fifteen percent off today!”
    Overheard at Tesco #2: “Sorry, no anchovies. Can I interest you in shiitake mushrooms?”
    Overheard at Tesco #3: “Sorry, no shiitake mushrooms. Can I interest you in some anchovies?”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s the same here, except we can’t use Brexit. Supposedly pet food is running out and that worries me far more than toilet paper! I feel as if everyone is fed up and has lost interest in customer service. It’s always the shrug of shoulders…do you think things will change if we ever revert to pre-Covid?

    Liked by 2 people

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