by Stewart Wilson
I was in Tescos, earlier today. Shopping, the way you do. I don't normally go there, I'm more an Asda man, but sometimes a change is as good as a rest so there I was in Tescos. Pushing my trolley, trying to work out where everything's been put so I can get what I want.
I was just putting the third bottle of vodka in the trolley when I saw myself. Not in a mirror or anything, but there was me. In the flesh, picking up a bottle of white wine with a girl I've never seen before. She was a bit of a looker, but I had to know why I was shopping in Tescos without saying 'hi' to myself. Or how it was even possible for me to do that.
He went around the shop as if he knew it, picking out all what he was after. It wasn't until I got closer that I wanted to punch myself. The bastard had gone for Quorn. Fucking Quorn. He was stood there with his back to special offer bacon drooling over substitute meat and broccoli and sprout fart-bake. The complete and total fucker.
Now I'm not one to blow things out of all proportion, but that's totally wrong. I am not a bloody vegetarian, and how I could be is totally beyond me. I had to follow him, find out what was going on. And how he could be a bloody veggie and have a fit bird when I'm carnivorous and single.
I did manage to get a listen in. He was going on about some things he remembered that I didn't, but some things I did. His lass was hanging on it, asking him more and more, and that was bloody lucky for me. I figured we started being different people shortly after I dropped some bad acid a couple of years back. I've had some weird flashbacks, but these were real people.
I was just about to talk to the guy when a security bloke dropped his hand on my shoulder and carted me off to see the manager.
"I'm sorry, sir," he says, "but I can't let you follow yourself around like that. It's freaking out the other customers."
"Err... right," I say back. "So ho do I manage to do it in the first place? I don't know where the fuck I am half the time."
"That's the problem, sir. I'm afraid it's our fault really. You see, Tesco isn't just a supermarket. We're a multidimensional chain, extending into every compatable reality. it's there in the name, Temporal Expanding Supermarket — Chronoligical Oddity."
"If'n I might be so polite as to ask," I say, "what the fuck are you talking about?"
"The you out there comes from a different reality. There was a mistake when you stepped through the doors and you both were routed to the same supermarket."
"So... this supermarket is a big multidimensional tax dodge and I exist in an infinite recursion of differing realities, and by a fluke of those two things I've managed to get within six feet of myself and my very fit girlfriend?"
"I'm sorry, I don't believe it."
"Why's that, sir?"
"I'm not a bloody vegetarian."
"I believe it's something to do with keeping his girlfriend. It's a documented divergence. Now, if you'll just walk this way, we'll get you to your home universe in no time."
So I stood up, and I followed the bloke out towards the back, where giant strange machines mutilated the laws of space-time. And as we walked past these four-dimensional reality engines, there was one thing I had left to say.
"I knew I should have gone to bloody Asda."