I became invisible for approximately 45 minutes on Thursday.

I say approximately because I didn't become invisible to myself, only to other people, so it's hard to tell exactly when the invisibility kicked in. It must have been shortly after I collected my trolley and headed into Tesco. The woman on the lottery counter certainly seemed to be able to see me—she didn't show any surprise at all when I asked to collect my winnings (two tenners in a fortnight: my syndicate and I are on a roll!)—but, by the time I had got to the fruit and veg section, I had become the invisible man.

The first sign of my invisibility was when people began cutting in front of me as if I wasn't there. At first, I took this to be common rudeness, but, after a couple of minutes, I became convinced something was up: people were acting as if I wasn't there far more spectacularly than usual: they marched straight at me, stepped right in front of me when I was travelling at speed, and hove their trolleys into my path with all the grace and inertia of oil tankers. Then, as I was heading (rather appropriately) towards the ginger display, a red-headed man cut in front of me and parked his trolley in such a way that it made a 'V' shape with the shelves. He then stood in the opening of the 'V', totally monopolising the ginger. I tried to squeeze round the side of him, but he stepped into my path, looking neither directly at nor directly away from me. I tried sneaking round the other side, but he moved again. So I gently pushed his trolley out the way. The ginger-headed man gaped in open amazement as an invisible force propelled his trolley sideways into the aisle.

But what really brought my invisibility home was when a fat, sweaty woman handbreak-turned her trolley directly into my path, blocking the aisle in front of me. I stared at her in irritation, while she looked straight through me, eyeing-up the chocolate biscuits.

Let's be honest, we've all fantasised about becoming invisible at some point, but have you ever worked out exactly what you would do if you could become invisible for 45 minutes? Me too! But Tesco isn't really the place you had in mind, is it? Me neither. And, thinking about it, I now realise that it probably wasn't me who had become invisible at all; my trolley must have been invisible all the time, and had somehow extended its cloak of invisibility to me. That's a much more rational explanation.

And who wants the 45 minutes of invisibility they've always dreamed about if they have to lug a supermarket trolley around with them as part of the deal?

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. There you have it: the uncomfortable phenomenon of being a bloke on a woman's patch. Have you tried Morrison's, it's a lot more geezer friendly? Failing that, why not send one of your harem to do do your weekly shop!

  2. Harem? That sounds like an excellent idea, but I don't think Jen would buy it.

    Besides, why would I want to give up the shopping? If there's anything in sociobiology (which, incidentally, there isn't), I am fulfilling my gene-driven destiny as a hunter every time I pop into Tesco.

  3. I say, Curruthers, bagged me a brace of mushrooms down at Tesco's this morning, put up quite a fight, don't you know. Took them home to the memsahib, one of them was still alive, gave her a nasty nip on the wrist, frightened the life out of her. She said it was only a scratch. I said "look at you, your'e shaking all over". She said "I'm not shaking, I'm just doing the watussi that's all, you silly next week's installment, Sir. Henry attempts to light his own farts & accidentally kills his white poodle, Leo....

  4. No....his poodle was called Leo. It's a line paraphrased from a Bonzo Dog Band album, 'he clipped his white poodle, Leo into a coffee table'. Isn't it always the case that if you have to explain the joke, it isn't funny any more.

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