Just a quick trip into the supermarket for orange juice, that's all. I'm standing in the aisle debating the merits of pulp-free versus pulp-clogged when a sweet, cheery voice floats over the speakers.
I thought love was only true in fairy tales…
I choose some juice and know I really should head straight for the checkout, but it's such a lovely tune.
Love was out to get me That's the way it seemed…
Only Neil Diamond could pen a song so jaunty. And it's the Monkees singing it, not that recent inferior cover version. And I'm a dork so I know all the words. So I swagger down another aisle and sing. I feel like Elvis in a dodgy musical, where he's walking down a beach and hawaiian-shirted back-up singers suddenly appear from behind sand dunes, armed with ukuleles.
There's a short rolly lady and her pricing gun is loaded with REDUCED stickers. She's grinning as she attacks some blocks of cheese, because she's a dork and knows all the words too!
Disappointment haunted all my dreams.
I look around and notice that the other shoppers seem to be enjoying the song too. There's a few absent smiles and drumming of fingers on shopping trolleys, we're all gearing up for the big chorus.
Old grey banana-groping guy in the produce section: Then I saw her face!
Rather handsome lad selecting tomatoes: Now I'm a believer!
Everyone's right into it. It was magic. Except for the babies and grotty toddlers, they're too stupid to know a good tune. The Wiggles, pah!
I'm in love…
The checkout chick with violent red lips (scanning large box of Rice Bubbles) harmonises with the Eagled-Eyed Customer (making sure she gets the Bubbles at the sale price, dammit): Ooooooooooooooooooohhhhh…
It's interesting to watch other people to see if they fancy themselves as a lead singer or if they wait for a harmony or just pipe up occassionally in the background; whether they audibly sing or just move their lips; whether they scrunch up their forehead with feeling or nod their head.
Miss Permed and Peroxided in queue reading Who Weekly and discreetly picking undies out of arse: I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her if I tried.
Baldy man with air guitar action: Durn da durn durn durrrrn!
I wander down the baking aisle during the second verse, humming and wondering if there's anything else I need to buy. I pick up a box of Green's 97% Fat Free Chocolate Mud Cake Mix. I think that a 97% Fat Free Cake couldn't contain enough mud to be tasty, would be more like dirty water really. But I want it anyway. Soon we've belted out the second chorus and it all goes crazy. I am swearing and shoving my ageing credit card in and out of the machine in time with the fade out, thinking vaguely that I'd have had enough cash if I'd stopped at the juice, but now I needed Mr Visa for all this unnecessary shit I'd accumulated.
The next song is an Eagles chestnut and somewhere there is a crack team of behavioural marketing gurus watching us on surveillance tapes and cackling with glee.