“Back in 10 Minutes”. I walk three miles to the convenience store, only to find a scrappily-written note stuck to the door. Back in ten minutes? When is that? Is this the first minute, or the ninth? I wait ten minutes, but no-one comes back. What a shoddy way to run a store!
Time passes. I begin to wonder if something has happened to the clerk. Is he lost? Has he been hit by a truck while crossing the street? Or brutally murdered in an alley? Perhaps I should call the emergency services.
I wait another ten minutes. Now I’m getting worried. The clerk must have met with accident. Typical! I need a carton of milk, and they’re lying dead in a hospital corridor. Hang on though, that is a ’10’, isn’t it? It could be a ’40’ if I look really closely and squint a bit. Back in forty minutes- what kind of store is this? So much for customer service. Oh well, I only have another twenty minutes to wait.
Thirty minutes pass. I realize I may look a bit of a twat standing outside the store. A passerby across the street stops and stares at me. They must be thinking “Why doesn’t she go in? Does she have a phobia about convenience stores? Is she a bit retarded or something? Maybe she’s blind and can’t find the door handle. Should I go and help? No, she’ll probably get offended. I don’t want to appear patronizing…” And so the passerby stands there, agonizing about whether they should help the poor retarded blind girl.
Another fifteen minutes pass. This clerk is ether taking the piss, or really is dead. What if the store has suddenly closed down and the clerk is out of a job? Perhaps he has taken revenge and made off with the cash register. Or driven to despair by his impending unemployment, the embittered clerk has rampaged through the store with a shotgun, opening fire on the customers! You hear about that sort of thing all the time. Is the store is full of blood-soaked bodies? Maybe I should open the letterbox and see if the smell of death wafts out.
That’s it, I’m calling the cops. Something is terribly wrong, I just know it. But the cops might think I’m involved! Why else would I be standing here for ages, acting suspiciously? Great, now I’m implicated in a mass shooting and robbery. That passerby on the other side of the street has been staring at me for twenty minutes now. They must be an undercover cop or something.
Perhaps I should break into the store. I can smash down the door and rescue any victims that might still be alive. Then I’ll be seen as a hero, not a felon! And maybe I can help myself to a couple of chocolate bars while no-one’s looking. I’m sure Forensics won’t miss a blood-spattered bag of chips either. Okay Tiggy, steel yourself. Breaking down the door in 3…2…1…
I crash through the door and hurtle headlong into the shelves. Pop bottles and Reece’s Peanut Cups rain down on my head.
“What the fuck are you doing?” screams the clerk as he grabs a shotgun from under the counter. He glances at the door swinging off its hinges and grabs the ‘Back In 10 Minutes’ sign.
“Shit, I forgot to take down that sign. I hope the boss didn’t notice…Hey crazy lady, one move and you’re fuckin’ dead… Hello, 911… is that the police… I have a major situation here…”