Living so far from the nearest Al Qaida cell (according to info received by Fishwick Special Branch anyhow) we are spared the excitement and disruptions of false alarms, bomb threats, house searches at dawn etc-although we did have Berwick Station closed quite recently because of a 'suspect package' abandoned on Platform 1-turned out to contain a copy of the Guardian and the Sun-grounds for reasonable suspicion in my book Anyhow Sir Morrison's did their best to make up for it early this morning whilst I had successfully completed my one basket shop and was enjoying a well earned Cafe Latte. An announcement said (I thought) 'WE are about to have a fire. When the alarm signal, goes vacate the store leaving all bags, trolleys and bulky possessions in store. You will be able to return for them later' (Whilst we are shifting through the smoldering refuge?, one wondered) The fire alarm sound like this: High pitched noisy signal. No one moved as this must be a demonstration it seemed to be assumed. Petulant Voice' No this is a real fire alarm. Please vacate the store' We did so. One man taking out his coffee in Morrison's best delph cup was asked to leave it behind' But it will get cold' he reasonably complained 'Not if there is a fire'said some cynic sotte voce *
He reluctantly complied putting his cup back on the table
We hung around in the fringes of coolish wind swept car park whilst they searched the loos, cubicle by cubicle. An amazing number of employees flocked out and went straight to the comfort of their conveniently near parked vehicles to have a quick drag and a sip from a thermos-they had done this before. Then the all clear sounded -the same as the alarm but a note lower and we all trooped back inside.
'Thankyou for sharing our fire drill' cooed customer relations 'Morrison's looks after you' She almost added ' Experience one drill get one free' But didn't.
My Latte was cold. I left overhearing the delph cup gentleman demanding a warm refill. But in all the excitement the Latte Machine had shorted and caught fire. Only a small one. No cause for alarm, as it were.
* eschew foreign phrase please. Blogg-ed