Waitrose, as a supermarket that does home delivery, has many qualities to commend it. It pretty reliably delivers what you ordered. If it has to replace something and the substitute’s more expensive, you get it for the original item’s price. If the sell by date of something is not to their own satisfaction, you get it for free. They even text you the name of the delivery driver when they’re on the way.
However, when our driver was called Bruce the other night, I really was only joking when I asked Alison if it was the Boss backing up the van into our cul-de-sac.
But reader, it was!
I know, I know. Bruce Springsteen, working as a supermarket delivery driver? It seems like an unlikely story – and yet major recording artists and local convenience stores seem to have a habit of coinciding around here, as witness my most recent encounter with a certain Mr B. Dylan, some time ago now.
Still and all. It was something of a shock to open the flat door and encounter the grinning face of Springsteen, stacking our boxes of comestibles neatly on the welcome mat for us.
‘How ya doin’?’ quoth the writer of such classics as ‘The River,’ ‘Born to Run,’ and ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad,’ to mention but three.
‘All the better for seeing you, Bruce,’ was all I could say. ‘Err … have you a lot still to do?’ That was lame, but to be fair, that’s often about all I can manage with supermarket delivery drivers that aren’t major musical heroes of mine. It’s like that old Peter Kay routine about all anyone can think of to say to taxi drivers: ‘you been busy?’ and ‘what time do you finish?’
‘You’re my last delivery,’ Bruce said, looking past me longingly into the warm, brightly lit flat. ‘Boy, is it cooold out there…’
‘Would you care for a cup of tea?’ I said – possibly the most British thing I could have said. However, a cup of tea was right on the Boss’s radar. He even helped Alison to fill the fridge (not a euphemism) while I put the kettle on.
An unlikely story? Well, you wait and see – turns out the Boss is writing a concept album based on the experience of workers in the new post-capitalist economy, and wanted some hands-on experience.
Next week he’s starting a shift at one of Amazon’s ‘fulfilment’ centres. I personally can’t wait to hear it.
Besides. This is the time of year when people traditionally believe that one single fat, white-bearded guy can traverse the globe, delivering presents by climbing down people’s chimneys, ably assisted by flying reindeer and elves. Not only that but he knows if you’ve been bad or good. He’s made a list. So you’d better be good for goodness’ sake.
I mean, what are the chances?
Have a great festive break, everyone, whatever – and whoever – you believe in. But personally, I believe in Bruce.
Even if he forgot to tell us the bananas weren’t the fair trade ones we’d ordered.