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I Met Myself Today in Tescos
The Bastard is a Vegetarian
I was in Tescos, earlier today. Shopping, the way you do. I don’t normally go there—I’m more an Asda man—but sometimes a change is as good as a rest, so there I was in Tescos. Pushing my trolley, trying to work out where everything’s been put so I can get what I want.
I was just putting the third bottle of vodka in the trolley when I saw myself. Not in a mirror or anything, but someone physically there who wasn’t this me but was, nonetheless, me. In the flesh, if you will, picking up a bottle of white wine with a girl I’ve never seen before. She was a bit of a looker, but I had to know why I was shopping in Tescos without so much as saying ‘hi’ to myself. Or indeed how it was even possible for me to do that.
He went around the shop as if he knew it, picking out all what he was after. It wasn’t until I got closer that I wanted to punch myself. The bastard had gone for Quorn. Fucking Quorn. He was stood there with his back to packs of bacon on special offer, drooling over fake meat. As I watched, he chose a broccoli and sprout fart-bake. The complete and total twat.
Now I’m not one to blow things out of all proportion, but this was totally wrong. I am not a cocking vegetarian, and how I could be is totally beyond me. I had to find out what was going on. And how he could be a bloody veggie and have a fit bird when I’m carnivorous and single. So I followed him.
I did manage to overhear some bits. He was going on about some things he remembered that I didn’t, and some things I did. His lass was hanging on it, asking him more and more, and that was bloody lucky for me. I figured we started being different people shortly after I dropped some bad acid a couple of years back. I’ve had some weird flashbacks, but I swear that these were real people.
I was just about to talk to the guy when a security bloke dropped his hand on my shoulder and carted me off to see the manager.
“I’m sorry, sir,” he says, “but I can’t let you follow yourself around like that. It’s freaking out the other customers.”
“Err… right,” I say back. “So how do I manage to do it in the first place? I mean, look at me! I don’t know where the heck I am half the time.”
“That’s the problem, sir. I’m afraid it’s our fault really. You see, Tesco isn’t just a supermarket brand. We’re a multidimensional chain, extending into every reality containing biocompatible organisms. It’s actually right there in the name: Temporally Expanding Supermarket via Chronological Oddity.”
“If’n I might be so polite as to ask,” I say, “what the fuck are you talking about?”
“The, ah, you out there comes from a different reality. Our systems made a mistake when you stepped through the doors. Both of you were routed to the same sub-supermarket.”
“So…” I tick points off on my fingers, “this supermarket is a franchise off a hyperdimensional corporate entity that spans uncountable parallel dimensions, probably as some big multidimensional tax dodge, I exist in an infinite recursion of differing realities, and by some fluke of those two things I’ve managed to get within six feet of myself and my very fit girlfriend?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t believe it.”
He frowns at me. “Why’s that, sir?”
“I’m not a bloody vegetarian.”
“I believe it’s something to do with keeping your girlfriend. I checked the records at Head Office, and it is a documented divergence. Now, if you’ll just walk this way, we’ll get you to your home universe in no time.”
So I stood up, and I followed the bloke out towards the back, where giant strange machines mutilated the laws, guidelines, and Highway Codes of space-time. And as we walked past these four-dimensional reality engines, I had to get one last thing off my chest.
“I knew I should have gone to bloody Asda.”
Stew Wilson is a writer, game designer, computational demonologist, and mathematician.
This blog covers his professional writing and game design work.
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