“I don’t see how it matters what kind of peppers we get.”
“Of course it matters,” Frohike was trying to explain to Byers. “They taste completely different.”
Getting bored of the discussion, Langly pushed the shopping cart down the aisle. Speeding up, he braced his arms and lifted his feet off the ground. The cart freewheeled twirling slowly until it collided gently with the shelf at the far end.
“Langly!” Byers turned away from Frohike to frown at the grinning man.
“Aww wow!” Jimmy enthused. “Let me have a go!”
“No way. Get your own!”
“Jimmy!” Byers spun round in despair as Jimmy ran off to do just that.
“Frohike!” Byers turned back to see the cart loaded down with 4 different types of peppers. “We can’t afford all that!”
Before he could retrieve any of the peppers, Langly had sent the shopping cart speeding down the aisle and around the corner. Just in time to meet Jimmy returning apparently, to judge by the loud metallic crash that followed.
Byers groaned. “Oh God, we don’t need to be chucked out of another supermarket.”
Frohike grimaced and agreed, “We’d better go see what the damage is.”
The damage turned out to be minimal but a more immediate danger threatened in the form of a very unhappy Yves, standing on one foot and holding the other in her hand while glaring at Jimmy and Langly.
She looked up as Byers and Frohike approached.
“Oh the set’s complete.”
“What happened?” Byers asked, certain he didn’t want to know.
“We crashed,” Langly said sheepishly.
“The knights on shining shopping carts here need to find some windmills to tilt at. Passing shoppers clearly aren’t enough of a challenge.”
“Sorry, Yves.” Jimmy dipped his head and smiled apologetically at her. She sighed.
“What are you doing here anyway? It takes all four of you to buy groceries?”
“Well you can’t expect to go food shopping without the chef,” Frohike said.
“The chef has expensive tastes and no sense of budget.” Byers frowned at him.
“And Jimmy is the one with the magic plastic,” Frohike explained.
Yves looked pointed at Langly and Frohike followed her gaze.
“Langly just wanted to come along.”
“They never get the things on my list right otherwise.”
“Twenty different types of candy bar you mean.”
Langly glared at Frohike. “And I just like shopping at this time of night.”
“Fewer passers-by to mow down?”
“Running over your toe isn’t mowing you down, and it was an accident, okay? Quit whining. Anyway what are you doing here? No cloak-and-dagger planned for this weekend?”
“Actually I suspect the store of being involved in an undercover plot to spy on people via the free toys in cereal packets.”
Jimmy’s eyes went wide.
Yves gave him a withering stare.
“No, Jimmy. Not really.”
“Funny, Yves.” Frohike stepped in front of Jimmy. “Now why don’t you get on with your shopping and leave us alone?”
“Gladly. Do try not to destroy the place before I’m done.”
Langly gave her a twisted, un-amused smile as she turned her back on them and walked away.
“No, really, guys, think about it. What if she told us that stuff to make us think she was making it up when really it was true?”
“Jimmy…” Byers sighed.
“I mean, it’s like the queues. There’s got to be something going on there.”
“Jimmy—” Langly started but was interrupted by Jimmy ploughing onwards.
“You know—the way the one you choose is always the slowest…”
“Jimmy!” Frohike finally shouted him down. “Enough already! Just pay for the groceries and lets get out of here.”“All right, all right. But I think we should follow it up. The grocery store conspiracy….”
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