Receipts… Really? AND the Penultimate Malbecs Instalment!

RECEIPTS… Little scraps of low density paper in my wallet which could house a family of gerbils. Where black and white printed irrelevancies surround the price. Whatever we are buying at the time feels like such a sensible, measured idea, an ‘8 PK CRNCHY MIX CHOC SALAD SALSA’ from Aldi, for example. Until the following week, of course, when the Receipt Reaping arrives (yes, a transactional Hunger Games rip-off, and what?). The little amounts of £3.47 and £0.96 accumulate to a hefty £47.11, which is followed by the traditional exclamation of ‘what the hell did I spend a tenner on in Holland & Barrett?’, or anywhere for that matter. Some receipts are folded into others in the form of a revengeful receipt-origami, others are scrunched into paper tidal waves and found deep in trouser crevices. Then there is the catastrophe of chewing-gum infused receipts, sometimes used as an emergency bin when arriving late to a seminar – these are likely to be the only receipts you will ever need to keep. Why do we keep them, anyway? ‘Just in case’? Aside from clothes or presents, I would be dumfounded to find anyone who keeps records of their finances with the ‘advice slip’ from the cash machine every time we need Klute entry fees. Which is why I am probably having my money laundered by a Danish drug baron.


Before Malbec could go any further he found himself surrounded by the entire Christmas food shopping for a family of eleven. He hurtled through the door, cheered on by a group of runner beans who clearly approved of his sprinting technique. He made sure to take the head coach’s contact details. Malbec had never seen a more athletic vegetable.

Malbec first noticed the temperature and thought he was in the Baltic Sea in his underpants with a heavy fever. He was inside his freezer. He wondered if he had accidentally used verruca cream instead of toothpaste and this had sent him into delirium, or whether his encounter with gypsies at university really had cursed him (Malbec distinctly remembers signing an oath of allegiance to always back Red Rum in the Grand National)

He was surprised to feel some relief when he finally saw Mrs Malbec, in all her glory, cradling a loaf of malted bread and singing the Danish national anthem. Although this frightened him slightly he could not help but notice his watch was strapped securely around her wrist. So where were Mrs Malbec’s muffins? At this thought Malbec realised, noticing the expanding bulge around her wrist and the fact that her once comfortable poncho had now become a neckerchief, Malbec thought she resembled a blimp. He would have warned the Germans but could not get any mobile phone reception


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