No one can say that the Bristol Post goes after the big stories. Forget murders, car crashes and the like. Oh no. The Post is running with a story about a pensioner who claimed she was charged 5p by Asda for a small bag in which she had put her bananas. 86 year old ‘Jean’ was said to be “furious” and “outraged”. Well, who wouldn’t be?
Jean is ‘feisty’ according to the paper, claiming she would “rather shove the bunch up my top than pay the five pence”. She even had an argument with the ‘checkout woman’ before confirming with another staff member that the 5p charge was appropriate, which of course it wasn’t. This, according to “the paper all Bristol asked for and helped to create”, represents what we media folk refer to as ‘news’.
All right, maybe I am being a little unkind to Jean, who may genuinely have a reason to show such fury and outrage at being told to pay for a little bag. I was not in the store at the time she claimed to have been so I will have to take her word for it. I do not know whether there were any extenuating circumstances or whether the entire story was a misunderstanding. I shop in the story mentioned, Asda in Longwell Green, and I always find the staff eager and attentive and I would have thought there would be little to gain by winding up an old lady by trying to make her pay for something the law says she shouldn’t have to pay for.
Poor Jean is so upset she has vowed to never again buy bananas from Asda, instead purchasing them from her normal banana provider, a local greengrocer. Good for her: support your local greengrocer.
But please, Emma Ashcroft, because the story was written by her; are there not more pressing matters worthy of our attention? Surely there must a be a dog-fouling story somewhere or the near weekly announcement of an increase in bus fares?
Jean has my every sympathy. She’s 86 and feels hard done by. If she was charged the 5p, that was wrong. But it’s her word against no one else’s. As they say, move along, nothing to see here.