Wednesday, February 2, 2011

unforTUNAtely brief encounter


Last night I was in a shop buying, amongst other things, a tin of tuna. There was a man in front of me also buying a tin of tuna. I looked at his tin, same brand, in brine, same as mine. I thought this was a bit of a coincidence. He saw me looking and caught my eye and I got a bit embarrassed but then he noticed my tin and smiled. Then we looked at our own tins and then at each other and did that slightly embarrassed half-shrug eye-toss palms-up smile, were you silently acknowledge to each other that you are both buying tuna. It was the sequence that happens about 12 minutes into every Romantic comedy ever. He was probably just about to ask me on a date, or if I would consider dropping everything and coming with him to a leper colony in Nairobi on the boat-train from King's Cross. I might even have said yes. Then a girl joined the queue behind me. She was buying a tin of tuna as well.

I deflated a bit because i knew what was coming, so I did what I knew I had to, based on the unspoken rules of social etiquette: we both looked at her tin of tuna and she looked at ours and then me and him looked at each other and then back at her and the three of us tossed our eyes like, "tuna, eh!" Then we all did the half-shrug eye-toss palms-up smile, (again. Some of us not as enthusiastically this time round.) I stopped looking at him. I stared at my watch for a while and then glanced back at the girl. That's when I noticed her tuna was in sunflower oil. But it was too late, he'd already gone.

3 comments:

  1. you're a wonderful story teller!

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  2. that was a really good story. I'm sorry the tuna man didn't work out

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  3. I never knew the etiquette before. Now I know just to offer the palms up signal. Thanks

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