Saturday, 2 June 2007

untitled 'supermarket nightmare' competition

i am starting an untitled 'supermarket nightmare' competition. the competition is titled "write chapter 50". if you would like to enter the competition, please write chapter 50 and post it below as a comment. you have about thirty days or so to enter.
if anyone enters, i will choose the entry i like best and it will be chapter 50.
i don't think anyone will enter the competition.
if you enter the competition it might really fuck up the writing of this novel.
please enter the competition.

the rules:
you must write chapter 50.
you must use the names of the characters, the situation, etc, that has already been set up in the novel.
the chapter must be at least one word long.


PK said...

Carol's knee still haunts me. I don't let it but it does it anyway. I now associate bananas with Carol's knee. I threw 4 bananas away yesterday. I haven't thrown any away yet today.

chris killen said...

good work PK. so far you are totally winning.

Tao Lin said...

this is a nice idea. good thinking.

"I bought a hamster today. I brought the hamster home and pet it for eight hours until the hamster's forehead had no fur there and it was bleeding a little. I noticed the blood. I put the hamster in an empty Kleenex box and walked away. I lay on my bed on my back and stared at the ceiling."

i hope i beat PK.

Tao Lin said...

"I bought a hamster today. I brought the hamster home and pet it for eight hours until the hamster's forehead had no fur there and it was bleeding a little. I noticed the blood. I put the hamster in an empty Kleenex box and walked away. I lay on my bed on my back and stared at the ceiling for four hours. Then I went to work. On the way to work I hit four small boys, six teenagers, and two homeless men."

i edited.

chris killen said...

Tao Lin is now winning. sorry PK. enter again. destroy Tao Lin with a terrible, nightmarish chapter from your internet-phone.

PK said...

"Carol's knee still haunts me. I don't let it but it does it anyway. I now associate bananas with Carol's knee. Bananas and Carol's knee are inextricably linked.
I no longer like bananas. I threw away 4 bananas yesterday. I haven't thrown any away yet today. I have 2 hours and 6 minutes to break my record.
Ian put bananas in his pasta today. Why put bananas in pasta? Ians pasta was worse than usual. I threw some of his things away to recompense for the terrible banana pasta."

I edited too. Later on when I'm awake I might submit something completely different. I might not.
Now I think about it, I'm going out tonight, so I definitely won't. Oh well. Maybe nearer the time ill submit something that's actually relevant to the story. (maybe I won't).

chris killen said...

good chapter, PK. i liked the banana pasta. it is now a 'close call'. you score points for mentioning more things relevant to the novel. Tao Lin scores points for managing to work in a hamster.

toast said...

Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had: he and I, the parson and clerk, were alone present. (Linda called in sick) When we got back from church, I went into the living room of the manor-house, where Carol was tending her knee and Ian cleaning the knives, and I said -

"Carol, I have been married to My Boss this morning." Carol and Ian were both of that decent phlegmatic order of people, to whom one may at any time safely communicate a remarkable piece of news without incurring the danger of having one's ears pierced by some shrill ejaculation, and subsequently stunned by a torrent of wordy wonderment. Carol did look up, and she did stare at me: the ladle with which she was basting a pair of chickens roasting at the fire, did for some three minutes hang suspended in air; and for the same space of time Ian's knives also had rest from the polishing process: but Carol, bending again over the roast, said only -

"Have you, Chris? Well, for sure!"

chris killen said...

thank you, Miss Bronte. my boss's head shining at the wedding. only understanding 16% of him saying 'i do'. oh god.

i'm glad i started this competition. thank you for entering. you are 'in with a chance'.

Dan Flynn said...

"And dust did settle on two pink mounds, a knee, a bald head. After the bananalanche. After the deluge. So it was true, and now I am alone. Unlike Carol. But why?"

chris killen said...

thanks for the bananalanche, Dan. this is a good one.

Anneliese said...

Last night Ian and I ordered pizza and watched sitcoms. I don't like pizza or sitcoms. But there was an interesting joke on one of the sitcoms. It was long and strange and it wasn't funny, but at one point one of the characters said if you eat thirteen bananas in a day you die. Actually this was not part of the sitcom. It might have been an advert. I asked Ian if it was true about bananas. Ian said yes; he heard it once on a science program. I let Ian finish my pizza.

Today at work I arrange bananas into bunches of thirteen.
My boss asks me what I am doing.
Trying to improve sales, I tell him.
He says something which sounds faintly horrific but I only understand about 12% of it. I think he might be agreeing that banana sales are slumping.
Let's hold a banana-eating contest, i suggest. We can set up a table in the fruit and veg section and invite the customers. Make bananas fun again.
My boss makes an unusual face and waves his arms around.
I bet you couldn't eat more than twelve bananas in a minute, I tell him.
My boss seems to think about this for a moment and then says something confusing and difficult to understand. He shakes my hand.

It is settled. We are going to have the contest.
I leave a message on Carol's answer phone and tell her about the contest.
I tell her I bet she couldn't eat more than twelve bananas in a minute.
I try not to think about her knee.
I think I am trying to kill Carol and my boss.

chris killen said...

i like this one a lot. this entry is better, i think, than most of my chapters and uses the 'style' and 'things' of the novel so far. this entry is possibly in the lead.

vicktoire said...

50: Envy.

For two weeks, I worked my scheduled 'mistake' shifts and, for two weeks, thought about Ian telling me to think about how much money I would make.

But after two weeks, there were no more shifts. Linda's name appeared in the place of my own and I had no more shifts. Now it has been 15 days since my last shift.

I think about Linda with her arms around Andy, Lee and Sarah.

About Linda dreaming of my boss' shining head.

About Linda imagining having a cold wank in the chiller.

About the logistics of Linda having a cold wank in the chiller.

About bananas.
Then about apples.
Then about satsumas.
Then about melons.

I imagine Linda and the new tower of new fruit and their love.
I imagine Linda and Carol's knee.

Ian asks if I have a shift tomorrow. Ian asks if all the money I made will be enough for rent.

All the money I made is not enough for rent.

chris killen said...

thank you, vicktoire. you get 50 points for being the only entry so far to title the chapter. every other entry gets 50 points deducted for forgetting to do this.

Merula said...

50. love story.

Today I saw a cat wandering the aisles.
It was black. It was glossy. It looked like it was looking for something.

I saw it again sitting in the fruit aisle. It had a thoughtful look on its face. Its whiskers were twitching.

Then it rose on its hind legs, and with very careful paws, nudged the bananas till one fell with a dull thump on the floor. The cat licked a brown spot on the skin, as if to see if it was alright. Then it took the banana in its mouth, and made its way to the front entrance.

As it sat waiting for the doors to slide open, it looked back and saw me watching it. The cat paused. Then it turned its head back towards the open doors, it ears twitching. It seemed to be thinking.

It stood up, turned around, and walked straight towards me. It opened its mout and dropped the banana at my feet.

The cat sauntered back to the fruit aisle. It rose on its hind legs, took another banana, and walked back to the entrance.

I thought it would mosey out when the doors slid open. Instead it bolted out. I was shocked by this abrupt exit. I had the urge to run after it, screaming, 'Wait!' and find out where it came from.

Instead I looked down at the banana at my feet and picked it up.
It had pinprick teeth marks on its skin.

chris killen said...

this one is great. thank you, M. 1000 points.

Anonymous said...

"50: midday news

11:23am. I'm too hungry to think clearly. I eat a banana.


12:17pm. I can't believe –––– is dead. I feel sick. I am sick. Banana sick."

I have chosen to censor the name of the departed, not wishing to spoil the surprise - NBSD.

Anonymous said...

50. No Joke

Three men walked into the store today: an Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman. They all wanted the same thing and they arrived a few minutes apart. Each wanted an apple, a tin of beans and a block of feta and each had no time to look for the items. I had to tell them. I work there; I have to tell everyone where to look.

I told the Englishman that the apple was in fresh fruit directly ahead, the feta was in diary two aisles along and that beans were not fresh, nor baked, nor chilled, nor frozen, nor drinkable. The Englishman headed away from the bakery, the chillers and the freezers and found the beans along with the other items. The Englishman was clearly the brightest of the bunch and found the items quickly.

I told the Scotsman that the feta was in dairy, that the beans were at the far end of the store, and that the apples were not behind him, nor to the right of him, nor to the left of him and not outside the store. The Scotsman struggled greatly with this and wandered off confused. Scotsmen are not as bright as Englishmen: I learned this today. Eventually, the Scotsman asked another shelf monkey for directions. The Scotsman was not very bright but he did show initiative at least.

I have been told by many people at many times that all Irishmen are even less bright than Scotsmen – and far less bright than Englishmen – so I told him, being careful to enunciate every word, that the apples were BE-HIND them in FRUIT, that the beans were to the RIGHT in aisle SE-VEN and that the feta was in the FRI-DGES. The Irishman bought an apple and a tin of beans and headed to Dixons to look for the cheese. All Irishmen are very stupid.

Their friend, a Welshman, stayed at home.


chris killen said...

anonymous, thank you for 'midday news'. i like the idea of 'suspense'. i feel that is something lacking in my novel so far.

tim, thank you for your mild, tongue-in-cheek xenophobia. however, as a part-irish myself, i feel i cannot let this one 'win'. maybe this is because i am very stupid.

Anonymous said...

Damn! Out of the running already!

Hopefully it was clear that it was a pastiche and I'm not a 'phobe.


chris killen said...

don't worry, tim. i am having a 'mard' is all. i feel sarcastic and cruel. i will get over myself soon, i hope. hopefully by the next competition entry.

leisuredeskexpress said...

At last! I appear to be receiving some recognition at work for all the effort I put into stock replenishment.
Or so I think.
My boss is already waiting for me in the staffroom as I arrive and his head is more shiny than ever, it actually glows and from that point I take it to be a good sign of positive things to come. I am inclined to think so, anyway.
His nostrils flare and the veins in his neck bulge. And with it, a sombre awakening.
The image of a banana passes in front of my eyes, and I gag.
I come to the horrifying realisation that I will always associate such fruit with unbearable sickness.
I blink myself back into reality and the morning's 'daily huddle'.

chris killen said...

thank you, leisuredesk. this one has a disturbing ring of 'authenticity'. i like it.

Sinking said...


Today I discovered that the supermarket has trolleys. Not the enormous basket on wheels shopping trolleys. Special trolleys for replenishment supervisors. I am a replenishment supervisor. I am authorised to use a special trolley. I now use the special trolley to stack and move several crates of bannanas from the store room to the shelf. The special trolleys are my friends. They have made my work much easier.

leisuredeskexpress said...

Thank you Chris Killen. One day I aspire to be a replenishment assistant. 'Til then, I console myself with dreams outside of my current position of slightly less importance; 'weekend service'.

chris killen said...

sinking, thank you for the entry. it is very optimistic. i feel comforted by it, but if i chose this one i would also have to change the name of the novel to untitled 'supermarket nice time' novel.

leisuredesk, i think you must work in the supermarket too. do you work in the 'beers wines and spirits' section?

Sinking said...

Work with me...see there could only be 2 special trolleys for the stock team, and fruit and veg team could have amusing battles with canned goods replenishers over the trolleys...resulting in crushing defeat for the bannana men. Its still a nightmare!!

chris killen said...

sinking, i think the only way it might work is if the trolleys were maybe about 10cm X 5cm large, and a new rule is enforced where i have to wheel the bananas out one at a time.

i am working with you on this.

Anonymous said...

But I had things to do and I quickly put the thought of the fascinating girl out of my mind and headed to Coles supermarket, an entrance of which was situated underneath the huge electric Coca-cola sign, a sign which dominated the southern end of the main drag.
I walked up and down aisles and aisles of food wondering what to buy. The food in the supermarket was expensive; I would have to budget, stock up on non-consumables, like tin food. I gravitated towards the tinned section, rows and row of tins and plenty of choice for someone on an economy drive. I began chucking tins into my trolley, one after the other. Then I added a few bags of rice, porridge, bread, butter, milk, sugar, and anything else I could think of.
Pretty soon my trolley was full, but I had everything needed to survive for the next couple of weeks without requiring any further expenditure. It was a big shop

Anonymous said...

We walked up to the meat section and found that, as usual, most of the meat had been reduced, but the best bargains were for all the cheap and nasty shit. The stickers had only recently been put on and were easy to peel off, and while Carol kept lookout, I peeled the cheapest prices off and began sticking them on the most expensive meat. The trickiest part to the scam was making sure the stickers exactly covered the existing stickers on the packets, so the checkout assistant didn’t notice.
Once we had piled up our baskets with some choice cuts we walked through the supermarket eating and drinking stuff, another scam we practiced regularly. Carol ate three yoghurts, two packets of crisps, one pork pie, and drank a coke, while I drank a bottle of mineral water and ordered a tub of mixed olives from the delicatessen, devoured them, and left the empty tub on a box of washing-up powder.
The few minutes spent in the checkout queue were the most nerve-wracking part of the scam. Would the assistant spot the scam, would they raise the alarm, would we have to do a runner, and what were the chances of getting arrested? It was a tense time, but it was this moment that made the scam all the more worthwhile, because if you can’t beat the system, at least you can chip away at the edges.

chris killen said...

these two anonymous ones are good. thank you. they are both very well written. i enjoyed them.

i like the 'mundanity' of the first one, and its hint of never-going-out-again, and the 'fuck-the-system-ness' of the second one. the first one is like supermarket muzak. the second one is rage against the machine.

Anonymous said...

At the shop, Carol showed me that for every bottle of real imported liquor or spirit there was a fake one. The bottles were identical, except the labels were different, but more importantly they were nearly half the price of the real McCoy.
“Do they taste the same?” I asked.
“I think so.”
With that we purchased a fake bottle of Cointreau, and back at the bar I opened the bottle and took a swig. I couldn’t tell the difference.
“Tastes identical,” I said, with raised eyebrows.
“Good, we do same every bottle,” replied Carol, as she carefully poured the fake Cointreau into the old bottle, the real one.
And we did. As every bottle of imported liquor and sprit was used up we replaced it with a counterfeit one. None of our customers complained. The only spirit we couldn’t replace was Tequila, because for some reason there was no fake Tequila, an oversight by the producers of counterfeit goods. After the scam had been deployed, our profits shot up by twenty or thirty percent, and once more the survival of the bar seemed assured.

Hmm, is this getting boring......

Anonymous said...

Christopher John "Chris" Killen (born October 8, 1981 in Wellington) is a New Zealand born football player, currently playing for Scottish Premier League side Celtic.

Killen began his career at Manchester City where he made just 3 substitute appearances and had loan spells at Wrexham and Port Vale. He joined Oldham Athletic in July 2002[1] for £250,000. He remained with Oldham for 3 and a half years, scoring 24 goals in 78 league appearances. Failing to match his price tag and seemingly high wage through continuous injury Oldham no longer required his services and released him on a free transfer.

In January 2006, Killen joined Hibernian on a free transfer.[2] He scored on his debut as he netted the third goal of Hibs' 3-0 defeat of Rangers at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup 4th round in February 2006.[3] His first home goal was the opener in a 7-0 win against Livingston four days later. [4] Despite arriving in January, he had scored 5 goals for Hibs by the end of the season. He also scored the opening goal of Hibs 5-0 defeat of Latvia's Dinaburg in the Intertoto Cup second round game at Easter Road on 2 July 2006.[5].

Following the departure of strikers Garry O'Connor and Derek Riordan, Killen was expected to be an important player for Hibs in season 2006-07. By December 2006 he had scored 11 goals, including 2 in a 2-1 win over Rangers,[6] however a knee injury prematurely ended his season in January 2007

Now he works in a supermarket and is expert at stacking shelves.

chris killen said...

i have been found out. i feel ashamed of my footballing past. please don't hold it against me. i think i am the first ex-football player to write an untitled 'supermarket nightmare'.

chris killen said...

here is an 'inside scoop': my premature season-ending knee injury was the inspiration for the 'Carol's knee' stuff. really i am writing about my own knee.

chris killen said...

also, thank you, anonymous, for your entry.

Mark said...

Chapter 50 – It’s One Small Step For Carol’s Knee.

I’m collecting apples and bananas on the surface of Carol’s knee. Her once beautiful skin is ravaged and in disrepair. The fruit conceals itself inside pock marks and craters. It’s covered in knee dust. I try not to think about buffing. The low gravity makes each step light and springy despite my cumbersome spacesuit. Carol’s knee never used to suffer from low gravity. Or meteor showers. Or knee dust for that matter. She’s really let herself go since our break-up. It saddens me.
The communicator crackles inside my helmet. It’s my boss. Due to the poor reception on Carol’s knee I can now only understand 12% of what he says.
I make out the words “standing around”.
I want to tell him to go fuck himself but instead apologise for being momentarily deep in thought. It takes three attempts to understand that he “doesn’t pay me to think.”
My basket’s full and I bound back to the rocket. I open the hatch, apples and bananas immediately spill out. The rocket’s completely full.
My boss tells me to put more fruit in the rocket.
I pick up an apple and put it in the rocket. A banana falls out.
My boss tells me to put more fruit in the rocket.
I pick up a banana and put it in the rocket. An apple falls out.
My boss tells me to put more fruit in the rocket.
I pick up an apple and put it in the rocket. A banana falls out.
My boss tells me to put more fruit in the rocket.
I pick up a banana and put it in the rocket. An apple falls out.
My boss tells me to put more fruit in the rocket.

In space no-one can hear you scream bananas.

chris killen said...

holy shit. this one is a good one. you are 'in the running', my boy.

Anonymous said...

Killen collects two goals and red card as Hibs run Rangers ragged

Ewan Murray at Easter Road
Monday September 18, 2006
The Guardian

Hibernian's Chris Killen condemned Paul Le Guen to his first defeat as Ibrox manager yesterday and ended Rangers' unbeaten run stretching back to February. Killen's goals, the second nine minutes from the end, earned a victory that should have been achieved by a far greater margin although the New Zealander's afternoon was spoiled by his late dismissal.
Hibernian showed up some glaring Rangers inadequacies and illustrated why Celtic are four points better off than their Glasgow rivals ahead of Saturday's opening Old Firm match of the season. Although Filip Sebo equalised midway through the second half, the insipid nature of this display was not lost on Le Guen. "We need to have better behaviour and attitudes in each aspect of our play," he said. "It is frustrating, but we must not give up. We were so poor, in the first half especially, that Hibs deserved to win."

chris killen said...

goddamn did i condemn Paul Le Guen to his first defeat as Ibrox manager yesterday. i did it cruelly and on-purpose. for no other reason that i was feeling cruel and on-purpose. i thought 'Paul Le Guen. i will condemn him to his first defeat as Ibrox manager today'.

My goals, the second nine minutes from the end, earned us a victory that should have been achieved by a far greater margin. But then my afternoon was spoiled by his late dismissal.

'God damn you, Paul Le Guen', i thought.

In January 2006, I joined Hibernian on a free transfer. I scored on my debut as I netted the third goal of Hibs' 3-0 defeat of Rangers at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup 4th round in February 2006. My first home goal was the opener in a 7-0 win against Livingston four days later. Despite arriving in January, I had scored 5 goals for Hibs by the end of the season. I also scored the opening goal of Hibs 5-0 defeat of Latvia's Dinaburg in the Intertoto Cup second round game at Easter Road on 2 July 2006.

I am a good ex-footballer.

Anonymous said...

While I love going shopping, even for groceries, tonight I came close to the verge of screaming aloud in one of Karachi's most popular supermarkets, Naheed Supermarket.

Going shopping in the first week of any month is always a stupid idea, given the swarms of people trying to get their monthly shopping done before their salaries are finished up, and combine that with a Saturday evening, when everyone's just gotten off work, is a recipe for a nightmare.

So tonight, as I tried to find an empty large trolley at the entrance, a bunch of kids ran past with their parents, all sporting mini trolleys with JUST ONE ITEM in it. Now I know shopping is a fun experience for most children, but a little note to the parents of such offspring: 'BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHER SHOPPERS.'

What was also astounding was that I actually spotted a woman staring into my trolley to see what I'd bought. I scanned my trolley to see if I had unconsciously picked up contraband drugs with the tissue boxes, but perhaps Curious Shopper was just plain curious.

Of course, there were stranger things to be seen. Like the girl I saw who looked atleast a decade away from puberty, but was swathed in a full length shalwar kameez and scarf.

Or the boy who was courteously holding a filled to the brim shopping cart for his mother and didn't realize that the boxes of sanitary pads in the basket had fallen and were about to be processed under trolley wheels, and who looked slightly embarassed when I handed the boxes to him.

Finally I made my way home with the firm resolve to find better things to do the next time Saturday rolls around.

chris killen said...

thank you for this one. i liked it. you shouldn't be embarrassed and 'anonymous' about it. it is very 'literary'. it uses the words 'swathed' and 'courteously' in it.

who are you, all you anonymous entries? please claim your entries.

claim them.

Anonymous said...

I claimed mine in the pub already so you know who I am - KYPA

chris killen said...

thank you for claiming your entry 'KYPA'. even though you let me in on the code behind your previous name, i still can't work this one out.

i would score minus figures on an IQ test.

Anonymous said...

In my home town in Mexico people celebrate Supermarket's Day on May 31st. This tradition would be very strange for other people but it is not strange to us.
At 5:00 a.m. the first 50 people who enter the market will get whatever they want free from the market. Also they will get tequila and coffee.

At noon people sell many kinds of food such as tingas, quezadillas, taquitos, enchiladas, posole and cookies. They also sell a lot of drinks such as horchata, jamaica, coffee,sodas and tequila.

At night young people throw a big party. They have mariachi and band music. Everybody dances; it doesn't matter how old they are. Everybody participates. They have fun. If you want to go over there you will have fun, too.

chris killen said...

hey, thanks for your mexican-themed entry. is this from Oscar? if so, thanks very much. if not, thanks anyway.

chris killen said...

the competition is now 'closed'. thank you to everyone who entered.

please carry on entering chapter 50's if you feel like it.

Anonymous said...

Chapter 50: Mr Jones' Beard

Look at my beard, says Mr.Jones bouncing me up and down on his knee. I cross my legs.

internettle said...


(i think you could have left chapter 50 blank so people could write their own without any 'right' chapter 50. Then everyone would read a different story and maybe there would be many non sequiters. And yest, this post is so too late for the competition)