Paid a brief visit to THE SALES today. It was late afternoon, the M8 was filled with red tail lights, we were on our way home from Edinburgh - and the impulse struck. Before you could say "bad idea" we were in a queue of cars inching towards Braehead. Orange-clad minions - perhaps redundant elves seeking re-employment - gesticulated in the headlamps to indicate that there was no room in the Blue carpark. Despair set in. We were trapped. There was no way but forward.
But lo! There were spaces in the hitherto unexplored Green carpark. Fired with new and manic enthusiasm we pressed on, arriving among a sea of cut-price Cava in the basement of M & S. We remarked the numbers of desperate-looking men drifting aimlessly or slumped on benches in the main concourse. Verily it was a vision of Hell. The seventh circle, I'd say.
An hour later we emerged, each with one purchase. I had even managed to find that which I had been seeking. A strange exultation possessed us as we careered round the three roundabouts which lay between us and the lonely darkness of the Greenock road. We had survived.
But the careful reader might note the destructive effects of such an experience on my customary deathless prose. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible ...