Death by Calpol

“Do you think if I was going to kill myself I’d use Calpol?”

I loathe pointless unenforceable bureaucracy!
So we’re all ill, I go to Tesco and buy Benylin for the missus, Benylin for me and Calpol for the kids.  Go to the till with some other shopping, cashier putting it through when she suddenly stops.

“I can’t sell you this” pointing to the Calpol.
“You what?”
“It’s your third product containing paracetamol, it’s a suicide risk”.
“You what?”
“The till has stopped me selling you the Calpol because you already have two other paracetamol products.  It’s to protect you”.
“From Calpol?”
“Do you think if I was going to kill myself I’d use Calpol?”
“Don’t you think I’d die from sugar overdose before the paracetamol killed me?”
“Nothing I can do sir, the till won’t let me”.
“OK, put it to one side and put it through in the next transaction”.
“I can’t do that”.
“I guarantee that would work”.
“I can’t”.
Person in the queue behind me, “Give it to me I’ll get it in my shopping and he can give me the money”.
Cashier, “That’s not allowed, he’s still getting three paracetamol products”.
Me, “With which I’m going to top myself?”
“OK, give it back to me I’ll get it at the next till”.
“I can’t do that”.
“OK, give it back to me I’ll put it back on the shelf for you”.
She bizarrely gives it back…
“I’m now going to buy it on the till next to you”,
“You can’t do that”.
“Watch me”.

I know it’s not the cashier’s fault and that she’s just enforcing the ‘rules’ but seriously?!  Even if I did want to kill myself with Calpol what on earth has Tesco got to do with it?    Also, the two pack rule applies regardless of the amount in the packet.  You can actually buy own brand paracetamol in Tesco in packs of 90.  You are allowed to buy two of these which gives you 180 pills.  If you bought them in 16s they’d stop you at 32.  If you really did want to kill yourself in a hurry and only had enough time to complete one transaction then there is a way!

Thrifty Fathers Day

“We only spent £3 Daddy and H’s present cost twice what mine did.”

Back in June we had Fathers Day. Usually spent in the garden, preparing a barbecue for my father and not sitting on my arse where I should be.

My favourite part about Fathers Day is the lead up to it. The boys getting excited about ‘Daddy’s Big Day’, me partly pretending to be excited but also more enjoying seeing them excited. In the week before I receive the best gifts, the ones they make at pre school. A particular favourite of mine was a card made into the shape of a shirt and tie. Definitely a keeper!

Since they are both now in school, however, these little self made treats are no more. Apparently the school prefers to concentrate on such things as maths, English and science, so bloody old fashioned!

Still, one great thing the school does is organise a Fathers Day gift sale. The school’s an academy so this is one of the ways they raise money for themselves. Basically they have all the available gifts laid out on a table, the children choose one, pay for it and they then get given the gift completely wrapped. The gifts aren’t expensive, they range in price from £0.50 to £10.00 from a packet of Maltesas to a small set of cheap screwdrivers.

At the last event I gave T £20 to get me a couple of gifts from H and himself. I gave both boys some guidance,

“Now I’m grateful for anything, it doesn’t have to be the most expensive thing you see but please definitely not a key ring…and no pens..”

I’m not being ungrateful, it’s just that a key ring is only useful when you have keys to put on it. Unless we put a new door or a gate somewhere then we don’t need anymore keys, hence I don’t need another keyring. As for pens, I am not exaggerating when I say we have at least 1,500 pens in the house. I used to own a firm and we were doing a trade show and needed gifts for about 100 people. We decided on pens with our company name on. We left it to the last minute and only then did we realised that the minimum order was 2,000 pens. Fortunately the pens are of incredibly poor quality so we are getting through them at a rate of about 100 a year.

Also, I must admit I would have been more than happy with the Maltesas. It wasn’t a packet, this was a box which I could have probably made last about an hour.

The boys came back after about two minutes of searching for the perfect gift for their Daddy and T placed £17 change in my hand.

“We only spent £3 Daddy and H’s present cost twice what mine did.”

Come Sunday I’m obviously excited to see what my thrifty sons have bought me for £1 and £2 (leaving room for the school to make a profit). Now your probably thinking that I got a keyring and a pen, but you’d be wrong. The £1 gift was actually a coaster with ‘Top Daddy’ written on it. I love it, it’s by my computer and I use it every day!

And the other gift? Yeah, that was a pen…


“Maverick, get down from there!”


So close to a row in Tesco, completely accidental but equally completely my fault.

There was a little kid messing about in the bread aisle in front of us. He was running round, chasing his sister, his mum was getting more and more annoyed but was trying to restrain herself from shouting. We then moved down the aisle towards the jam and the overexcited kid and his sister moved along with us. Finally, when he was attempting to climb up the shelves with the glass jam jars on, right in front of me, his mum rushed over and shouted,

“Maverick, get down from there!”

I could feel my eyes widening, my jaw dropping and before I could stop myself I found myself blurting out,


I took one look at her reddening face, the tattoo on her neck, and the fact that she outweighed me by a good 5 stone and did the only thing I could…I ran.