Mrs Smith is pretty certain she isn’t an alien. From the look she has just been given by a small child who happened to spot her in the local supermarket you’d imagine she at least had two heads, not a trolley filled with a weeks worth of groceries.
Whilst her shopping list is fairly mundane and to be frank boring, Mrs Smith doesn’t usually shop so close to school. She values her privacy, she values her peace, she values her glass or several of Pinot noir and would rather no member of the school gate gossip gang spotted her in Sainsburys with 12 bottles of red and a packet of pork scratchings the weekend before half term. The news of her (supposed) drinking habits would travel round to all the parents faster than nits in Reception. Not that Mrs Smith is averse to sharing her love of certain beverages. Indeed, judicious reference to Prosecco in the run up to Christmas often results in a very happy Mrs Smith during the holidays. Mrs Smith wonders briefly if mentioning Bombay Sapphire gin in the next lot of maths worded problems she sets for homework might have the same effect?
Since it is the holidays and Mrs Smith has no idea what day of the week it is, she is a little too relaxed. She decides that popping into the shop close to school will be fine. After all what could possibly go wrong?
Mrs Smith has a smile on her face. From all corners of the supermarket, Mrs Smith can hear parents losing it. Above the muzak, she is surrounded by whispered threats and some very clearly enunciated profanities. Having had sole responsibility for their own darling spawn for two weeks seems to have made some parents realise exactly what she has to put up with every day of the fucking week. Mrs Smith can only imagine the language when they have been at home for five weeks and have yet to tackle school shoe shopping.
From behind a display of unicorn themed back to school lunchboxes, Mrs Smith watches as an esteemed member of the PTA, knitter of her own yogurt and campaigner for vegan school dinner options. She is bribing her brawling children with a large bag of Haribo Tangfastics and the promise of ham and cheese Dairlylea lunchables when they get home, if they stop being brats.
Mrs Smith smiles.
She steps out from behind the unicorns and waves a cheery greeting and declaims a clearly audible Hello towards the family, making eye contact as she does so. Mrs Smith is pretty sure she heard a muttered “shit” as she passes by. Mrs Smith ignores this. Mrs Smith thinks the campaign for dairy free dinners may just have died a death.
Mrs Smith continues on, buying all the goods one would expect from your average shopper. Teachers need loo paper, tea bags and cling film as much as the next man. They have to remember to hide the vodka under a loaf of bread but apart from that, nothing out of the ordinary.
Turning a corner Mrs Smith hears a phrase she has heard before. Mrs Smith racks her brains. Then it comes to her. It was a group of words that had drifted towards her recently whilst on playground duty. This time the person screeching “you are seriously getting on my tits” is an adult. In fact, it is the voice of a parent she had spoken to about the self same phrase only two weeks ago. Astonishingly, when questioned, this parent had no idea, no idea at all where their child had heard that phrase. This adult had suggested, quite forcefully if Mrs Smith’s memory serves her right, that Precious (never was a child better named), must have learned it from school.
Bollocks she did!
Mrs Smith knows bloody well who the originator of this phrase might be. It certainly wasn’t school. Mrs Smith pulls herself up to her full height and fixes on her “don’t bullshit me face”. The one that she usually reserves for Year 6 boys playing testicle tennis at the swimming baths. She rounds the corner. She smiles at Precious and her mum. Everyone understands the gravity of this meeting. Everyone gets the gist. No one, least of all Precious’s mum, will try to lie to Mrs Smith again. ‘Hi,’ trills Mrs Smith lightly, ‘I thought I recognised your voice. Having a good holiday?’ Of course she isn’t, not now anyway. Precious isn’t the only one to piss off her mum this summer. Job done, muses Mrs Smith.
Mrs Smith turns on her heels and marches back to the wine, and more specifically the Pinot. Bugger the bottle she thinks, this teacher deserves a box!
- This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
- Copyright © 2017 by Mrs Smith
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the author
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