It’s a common sight to see people chug back bottles of water or soft drinks as they drive. What’s not so common is to see someone slugging back a bottle of gaviscon but that’s how herself now rolls. The car is stocked with several emergency bottles of the pink stuff just in case she runs out of petrol and suddenly finds herself in a remote field with no sign of life, at least she will have her heartburn relief.
The heartburn started in earnest about a week ago.
“I feel like I’ve just swallowed a shovel of hot coals,” gasped herself as she sat bolt upright in bed. Her sister recommended gaviscon and now there is always a bottle of it by her side. Her sister also recommended that she get a free baby gift bag from Lidl and SuperValu. For those of you that aren’t from Ireland, that basically means a pregnant woman can get a complimentary assortment of baby stuff, like nappies, from a local supermarket.
The word free has the same effect on herself as viagra does to a penis… it makes her get up very quickly in a state of giddy excitement. She put the phone down, leap to her feet and was already wrestling her coat on. The car keys jangled in her hand as she started to fasten her coat but gave up when it struggled to close over her bump.
“They’re free Birdie!”
“Baby stuff,” she started to walk towards the door.
“Come on, I need you to come with me.” I groaned quiet enough that she could not hear me. I wanted to spend my Saturday on the couch not in the car.
“How long will we be?”
“Just a hour, I promise, we’re just going to Lidl and then SuperValu.”
Five hours later we were still on the road. We had driven to every SuperValu and Lidl in Dublin… every store. The car was full of nappies, wet wipes, and many other baby things. Herself was on a freebie high.
“Please can we go home now.”
“Maybe we should go to Kildare,” she swallowed back the last of her bottle of gaviscon and threw it into the back seat. She then reached over me, opened the glove box and pulled out another bottle of gaviscon. She opened it and took a mouthful as she toyed with the sat nav. She had now gone full scale freebie mania.
“No! We are not going to Kildare, we are going home!”
“But they’re free!” She obviously was not factoring in the refuel on her free quest.
“You’re only supposed to have one, you’re not supposed to have more.”
“Says common decency.”
“Oh fuck common decency! We never get anything free in this country!” And that really was the crux of it. Regular Irish people don’t get anything free and when they do they panic that someone will take it away so they get greedy and horde. I nodded and we kept driving.