Spook central at our local Spar…..
It's strange, but no matter from what angle you look, Degsy's eyes will always follow you around the room......
It was a day, just another ordinary day.
And it was still daylight.
I was feeling pretty OK, sort of, as I parked the car outside the local Spar supermarket. The sky was icy blue and the chill wind made it feel like everyone in the whole world was sucking on a moon-sized peppermint every time we breathed in. I made my way towards the entrance of the shop – it was 2:00pm on a late November afternoon…..
As I approached the threshold, my bright and optimistic candour suddenly evaporated. For no reason at all, I’m feeling as sad as a Leonard Cohen fan with depression and a bit of a headache, what the hell is the matter with me?
A black cat ran across my path. Hmmmm, that could be an omen, I suppose - or it could just be a cat. Suddenly, above my head, a large crow perched on the big plastic letter ‘Pee’ of ‘SPAR’ started squawking at me. His bright yellow evil eye held me in a rabid rabbit, car-in-headlights trance. It fluffed up its bible-black, bible-blackest feathers in an attempt to keep out the cold north wind…. It looked like a little angel of death, waiting for his next victim. I’m no expert, but maybe, just maybe it could be a bit of a portend. A portend of doom?
I thought, long and hard – should I go into this SPAR? Should I risk it - go in, when all the omens are warning me off? It’s just a shop for God’s sake. I mean, I know the service is a bit crusty and they don’t have 97 varieties of coffee brands on sale, but if I’m lucky, I might justbe able to bag the last prawn mayo butty of the day.
I ponder. It’s a battle. A battle of wills between my head and my stomach. Which bit will win? On the one hand there's my primordial instincts - they have enabled the human race to survive and flourish over millions of years by warning of hidden danger through a mysterious 6th sense. On the other hand are the hunger pangs in my stomach. It’s gut-instincts verses gut-guts……
No contest, ‘guts’ wins this, and has done every time.
I breeze in and lunge, the last prawn and mayo on brown is mine all mine. And what a bonus! The corners have hardly bent upward yet – and the bright pink chemical that is supposed to resemble prawn juice hasn’t fully sogged through the sad slices of bread. The excitement of the chase had dulled my survival senses, it was only after the prize was mine that I was aware that I was not alone. I’d just manage to beat a bloke dripping gold, fake sun-tans and the last 1977 consignment of Brut 33. He cracked on that he wasn’t bothered about missing out on the prawn….. he chose something from the losers counter……
The stranger with the several layers of sun tan, the gold stuff and the Brut vapour trail strolled away towards the bottled water display. Hang on a mo’ – this stranger somehow looks familiar. Yes indeed, none other than spirit medium and seer – of all things dead, Mr Residual energy himself, Derek Acorah.
The star of Living TV’s ‘Most Haunted’ was here (presumably in the flesh), in my local Spar shop, one prawn sandwich down and looking to purchase a bottle of water. Now, if you believe the publicity, Acorah is supposed to be unable to walk down the road without tripping over millions of lost spirits – he’s supposed to be able to pick up on ‘them that have gone over’ like other people pick their nose.
I stared hard at his back. He continued to study the not very extensive bottled water range. What was he doing? Was he performing an exorcism on a 2-litre bottle of Malvern Spring? Was he checking his flies – who knows. Suddenly, in a move reminiscent of Antonio Banderas in the latest Zorro film, Acorah spun round and caught me looking straight at him.
It was a fair cop. I was caught, bang to rights, clocking a Zed-list celebrity. His 6th sense was obviously honed to ‘turbo mode’……. Well, it would be wouldn’t it – what with all those ghosts and orbs and stuff. Maybe ‘Sam’ his native north American scout spirit guide tipped him the wink from the fire water aisle?
Just then, Acorah moved. With the speed of a poltergeist on a mission of mischief, he got to the only check-out in the shop before me. He opened his wallet – wall to wall Gold cards and notes……. No doubt about it, there really is money in crap television. Acorah seemed to sense the bad karma emanating from me to him. He looked ruffled, hot and bothered. The ‘great smell of Brut’ was working overtime.
He paid and walked out of the shop. I looked straight at the shop assistant behind the check-out. Lights on, no one at home. She gave the impression she had just joined the living dead. I wanted to say to her, "That la-de-dah Derek Acorah, who the bloody hell does he think he is. Coming in here as bold as you like and buying some water – and almost getting the last prawn mayo on brown"…..
As I said, I wanted to – but some 6th sense inside me was screaming "Don’t say a word, master!"…. Was it my very own spirit guide? Was he an Indian, or maybe a Traffic Cop…. who knows? Who knows which character of the Village People he was trying to materialise to me as – all I know, it certainly worked, because just then Degsy swooped back from behind me, and he would have surely caught me slagging him off.…… "Sorry luv, forgot me water"
A likely story, Derek. I offered a private thankyou to Nobby Navajo, my new pal spirit guide. "Cheers Nobby, mate"
Nobby Navajo, Alfie's spirit guide.