From children having tantrums to grown men bragging about getting drunk at a party – you really do hear it all in B&M.
Earlier this week, I spent my time loitering in the budget store on Parkway in Chelmsford and observed its customers behaviour to catch the most Essex comments imaginable.
For those who are not regular B&M customers, the shop at 3.30pm on a weekday is swarming with school kids stopping off for snacks on their way home- for £1.65 you can get a can of coke and bag of Haribo’s so you can see the appeal.
But it wasn’t just school children who I caught saying the most Essex things – grown adults came out with some of our county’s finest slang too.
Here are some of the most Essex things I overheard while lurking in the aisles.
1. ‘Alf, put that down or you’re paying for it’
This mum with three children down the toy aisle – I admire you.
Her hands were full, balancing a basket of shopping on one arm with the kids school bags on the other, and she did a remarkable job at not dropping anything and keeping her cool.
Her little girl shouted from a neighbouring aisle “Can I have this toy mummy?”
To which she replied “No, put it down”.
Then one of the two boys did the same: “Mummy can I have this one?”
At this point I could hear the frustration in her voice when she said: “Alf, can you stop asking me for things when I am trying to get my stuff.”
While he did listen to his mum and stopped asking her for things, it didn’t stop him from picking things up off the shelves.
Then she comes out with the classic line we have all heard before: “Alf put that down now or you’re paying for it.”
2. ‘The JD was banging’
I then stuck around two men who were in the biscuit section and heading towards the refrigerator where they each picked up a can of monster energy.
One man said to the other: “Ah that party Saturday night was the nuts.”
To which his pal replied: “Ah mate, weren’t it just. The JD was banging.”
They then moved on to talk about work, which I have to say I was slightly disappointed about – I wanted to heard more about this wild party.
3. ‘It’s only a tenner’
Another mum was also shopping in the budget supermarket with her little girl.
Her daughter ran past me before stopping abruptly at the corner of the aisle.
The reason for her emergency stop was she had seen a LOL surprise! Glitter Series. She picked it up and said: “Mummy can I have this for Christmas? “
Her mum asked how much it was.
She said in true Essex girl fashion: “It’s only a tenner, please.”
4. ‘I can get ’em in Poundland for a quid’
A couple were hunting for spider webs in the seasonal section. One said to the other: “Can you find any?”
The woman replied: “They don’t have ’em ‘ere, I can get ’em in Poundland for a quid.”
I thought I could understand most Essex accents, but listening to this was difficult to say the least.
5. ‘That’s so sick’
Another group of school kids were gathered by the Halloween section and they did that annoying thing where they press all the buttons of the toys to make as much noise as possible.
They were in Moulsham High School uniform and could only have been about 14-years-old and were all fascinated by the Halloween costumes and masks.
One said to the someone: “OMG, look at that one it’s so cool.”
To which the other replied: “That’s so sick.”
6. ‘I want the Playboy one because I’m a Playboy’
Two college students were stood by the gift aisle and chatting about their day. At first I thought nothing of it but then one of them came out with “I want the Playboy one because I’m a Playboy. I’m joking I’m not.”
I wondered what she was talking about at first but then I realised there was a Playboy themed gift set on the shelf.
7. ‘Shut up crying, what is wrong with you?’
Just around the corner there was a little girl who was making a lot of noise.
After an outburst of crying her mum said: “Shut up crying, what is wrong with you?”
After continuing to cry, her mum then mimics a child crying and says: “It’s a hard life isn’t it?”
To be fair, surrounded by all those toys and not being allowed to have any is difficult and I have no doubt every child has shed a tear in moments like those.
8. ‘Yo, yo, yo’
Three schoolboys with packets of sweets in their hands were stood by the fizzy drink section.
One wandered off and when he returned ran up the aisle to his friends shouting “Yo, yo yo”.
His mate responded: “Oi, this one is only 30p”.
9. ‘I’m gonna take my motor up north’
A man pushing an empty trolley bumped into his friend in the store.
They struck up conversation and I stuck by them for a short while.
The man said to his friend: “Because of universal credit we’ve all been screwed over.
“If I had enough work for you I would but I’m not even working myself.
“Someone needed help loading a piano in a van so I’m gonna take my motor up north tonight.”
10. ‘I’m not even joking, but’
Stood in the middle of the main walkway were two mums with buggies. They were talking about where they live.
One said to the other: “I’m not even joking but, Melbourne is better than where I live in Basildon.”
We all like to have a bit of a moan about where we live, am I right?
11. The Mrs Hinch advert
While wandering around the store a Mrs Hinch advert came on the radio.
Mrs Hinch, the cleaning Queen, has made a name for herself through her cleaning inspired Instagram page, on the back of which she has released a book and a number of her very own cleaning products.
The advert in the store was promoting her cleaning products, most notably ‘Dave the duster’.
Of all the things I heard I think the most Essex as probably ‘The JD was banging’.
It’s amazing what you find out when you just listen to your surroundings, next time you’re in a supermarket maybe you should try it.
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