Gerry Moran

So you’re going camping?” My wife is speaking to me. Over a TV programme that I am grossly engrossed in. Which makes hearing rather difficult. “Yes”, I say, absent mindedly without taking my eyes from the telly. “So where and when are you going camping and what put this mad notion in your head?” “What mad notion, what are you talking about?” “Camping”, she exclaims, “You’re going camping” “What the hell are you talking about woman? CAMPING! At my age!”

So you’re going camping?” My wife is speaking to me. Over a TV programme that I am grossly engrossed in. Which makes hearing rather difficult. “Yes”, I say, absent mindedly without taking my eyes from the telly. “So where and when are you going camping and what put this mad notion in your head?” “What mad notion, what are you talking about?” “Camping”, she exclaims, “You’re going camping” “What the hell are you talking about woman? CAMPING! At my age!”

That’s when she leaned over and paused the TV (she knew better than to turn it off, grounds for divorce that kind of carry-on”) “I just asked you were you going camping and you said you were”. “Never mind what I said, or didn’t say, what in the devil’s name would make you think I’m going camping?” “The shopping you brought home, that’s what”. “What did I bring home?” “Well, first off, what did I send you for?” “Car-covers for the dog. Two of them. And I got them”. “You did, along with, and listen to this, cause I have them right here in from of me, are you ready” “I suppose”, I say looking wistfully at the paused programme I was engrossed in.

“So, here’s what you brought home from Aldi, along with the car-covers, a 2 Piece Mini Multi Tool Set, a tube of After Bite for stings and insect bites, a torch, and I wouldn’t mind but we have two, if not three of them, in the house, a Spectacle Repair Kit, a disposable barbeque and a Camping Cutlery Set including a fork, a knife, a spoon, a corkscrew, a can opener and a punch complete with, and I quote, a nylon bag with belt loop. Tell me now, in all honesty, what would make me think that you were going camping? Oh, and there’s one other item, a German Phrase Book. So maybe it’s to the Black Forest you’re thinking of going?”

“Okay, okay I see where you’re coming from but you’re putting two and two together and getting five, six even” “I’m putting all these bits & bobs together, all six of them, and I’m getting CAMPING” “Well, I’m not going camping. I’m not going anywhere, I just bought those things because I think they may come in handy some day”. “What day might that be?” “I don’t know, any day, some day, who knows maybe our kids might need them some day, maybe they’ll go camping” “Our kids, who are now young adults, in case you hadn’t noticed, have sowed their wild camping-oats and served their time to Electric Picnic and Oxegen and whatever rain-sodden, mud- splattered festival you can think of”. “Our grandchildren maybe?”, I sheepishly suggest.

“Gerry Moran you’re incorrigible”, she says. She always says that when I’m incorrigible. And I always have to look it up in the dictionary to see exactly what it means. In the meantime I’m thinking of forming an organisation called the AA, Aldi Anonymous. It’s for people like me (men mostly I’ll hazard a guess) who are addicted to Aldi, who go in for one thing and come out with a trolley-load of stuff. We’re Aldiholics and we need help. What more can I say except: “My name is Gerry and I’m an Aldiholic”.

P.S. “By the way”, says the missus, “What’s with the German phrase book?” “I was thinking of Pat Shortis when I bought that”. “Kindly explain”. “Pat says that he was born under British Rule and may well die under German Rule, so I’m going to learn a few words – just in case”.