Chudleigh Angus Strikes Back
To catch the background of Chudleigh Angus, read Supermarket Romance.
Chudleigh Angus stuffed his hands into the pockets of his shorts and kicked at the loose grapes littering the floor of the fresh produce aisle at the supermarket.
“You could at least pick them up and put them into the bin,” his mother chided.
The last holiday break before final exams gave Chudleigh more time to study and his mother more time to find random tasks whenever she felt he was unfocused.
Chudleigh grunted, hoping to effect non-committal compliance. “Why do I have to come and help with the shopping?”
“Because it doesn’t hurt to help your mother once in a while. Can you please go and pick me up two rockmelons.”
Despite the inconvenience, Chudleigh hoped to see Andy again, talk to her, the Siren of the Supermarket, Chieftain of the Checkouts. He doubted she would be working much during the holidays prior to exams; still, he scanned the registers when they arrived and was disappointed she wasn’t there.
Hands still stuffed in his pockets, Chudleigh trudged through the aisles of fruit and vegetables searching for the elusive rockmelons. Finding his quarry he stood there eyeing them off, hazarding a guess as to which ones were ripe and which were not. Picking up one in each hand he raised them up and down as if he were a balance.
A voice struck clear and true to his left. “Hey Chudleigh, how you doing?”
Startled, he turned towards the voice but saw no one. Andy stood up from behind a trolley, a bunch of bananas in her hands.
“Andy, I didn’t see you there. How have you been?”
She continued unloading bananas onto the end of the aisle. “Good. Glamorous job this isn’t it? By the way, nice melons.”
Looking down, Chudleigh noticed he held the melons at chest height, a fruity Pamela Anderson. Flushed in the face he dropped his hands in front of his shorts.
“Would you like a banana to go with your melons?” Andy asked, waggling the banana suggestively, holding the fruit at waist height. Chudleigh’s face took on a crimson hue.
Chudleigh replaced his unfeasibly large testicles on the stand and tried to recover, turning to a safe topic. “Been studying for exams?”
Andy giggled and leant forward to stack more bananas on the stand. Chudleigh stared as her blouse gaped slightly, offering him a quick ogle of her cleavage and the tantalising flash of colour of her bra.
“Yeah, pretty much. Working here is a good brain break because it doesn’t involve the brain.”
“I’m stuck on Chem-misery. Just can’t get my head around carbon atoms and polymer links.”
“I can’t remember all the dates for Modern History. If I’m not careful I’ll write that the Germans invaded Michel’s Patisserie.”
The conversation felt easy and “normal,” allowing Chudleigh’s heart to bypass his brain via his groin. His heart tapped the frontal lobe with a suggestion. Here was motive and opportunity: he could suggest a study break and meet up.
“Hey Andy, I was just wondering…”
Over her shoulder Chudleigh saw his mother a few aisles over, approaching with the trolley; Darth Vader’s tie-fighter barrelling down the trench. He did not want his mother to interrupt.
Stay on target.
“…if you would like a study break sometime over the weekend…”
Where’s Han when you want him?
His mother approached, weaving through the traffic of other customers. She paused at the cheese section.
Stay on target.
“…maybe we could do something together?”
Photon torpedoes away.
Andy broke into a smile, looked down at her feet, twisting the ends of her hair. “Sure, that would be lovely.”
Bulls-eye on the womp rat!
His brain interrupted, tapping the frontal lobe and handing over a piece of paper. You haven’t thought too far ahead have you. What are you going to do? Where are you going to go?
It wasn’t a hit; it simply impacted on the surface. Suddenly Chudleigh was sphincter-releasing aware of the problem. Make that two problems: the arrival of his mother, who was on the move, and the need to think of a date location.
“Chudleigh?” asked Andy.
“I was saying I was going to the rock climbing gym on Sunday afternoon. Would you like to meet there?”
Problem solved. Hang on, thought Chudleigh. Rock climbing. Gym. This involved something physical. Chudleigh struggled to connect the dots and his mind simply shrugged.
“Sure. That would be awesome. Better get these to Mum before she comes looking for me.”
Grabbing two rockmelons Chudleigh turned to intercept his mother. Turning back for one last glimpse of Andy he caught her looking at him. He broke into a goofy grin, raised the rockmelons in farewell and was rewarded with a giggle from Andy.
“See you Sunday,” she called.