#55: The Pain au Chocolat Story

#55: The Pain au Chocolat Story
6 minutes to read

I made a loose reference in a previous post (why, here it is) to a story involving an accusation of shoplifting, Sainsbury’s, and a Pain au Chocolat. 

Like, two readers requested that story in full, so here it is. As a disclosure of my transparency as a writer, I promise that I’ve not embellished it for comedic effect. It really was this fucking ludicrous.

November 2015

I’m in Sainsbury’s. Mouse is strapped in to her buggy, and Moo is still growing away nicely in my womb. I’m picking up a morsel for our lunch and, because I’m such a generous mum, I allow Mouse to choose herself a roll from the loose bakery items section. She opts for a tiger jobby, I go for rustic olive. This is important for later, store that nugget away.

I give her the plastic bag containing the two aforementioned rolls to hold, in order to shut her up while I amass some other crap. Possibly a sharing pack of Minstrels and some face wash, which I seem to be incapable of not buying on a weekly basis.

We weave a merry path to the self service checkout and I run everything through, leaving the bag of loose rolls until last because Mouse will loose her shit if I prise them from her paws a second earlier than is strictly necessary.

I look up the rolls on the screen, enter a quantity of two, priced at 30p each (I notice that they’re now a regular price of 25p, loving your work Sainsbury’s). I complete the transaction, and give Mouse the receipt to hold because she’s odd like that. I am now, of course, a fully paid up and honest patron of this fine store.

“I’ve done a poo.” announces Mouse, still in nappies at this point (note from present self to past self – my darling, you’ll have exactly two months between Mouse being potty trained and giving birth to a new shitty arse, enjoy the freedom).

“Right, well we’re off home now, I’ll change you before lunchy, OK?” (Fuck’s sake, just say lunch like a grown up.)

But then, what with being a preggo, I’m suddenly experiencing a low level piss leakage because I had the audacity to cough without first bracing my pelvic sling against an imminent flood, so I figure we’ll have a quick shuffle into the toilet after all.

I need to mock up a panty liner with folds of tissue, dab the wet patch from my gusset, and change a shitty toddler bum. I also need to text a friend about a boy and check my work emails even though it’s my day off and I’m a diligent twat. All of these things take some time, I’d estimate ten minutes.

I bundle up the nappy and put it in the bin, along with the slightly chewed receipt that I’ve prised from Mouse’s claws.

We exit the toilet, and I am immediately pounced upon by a member of staff, who I’ll name Barbara.

Barbara stands in my path and is flanked by a slightly dubious looking security guard.

“That’s her. That’s the woman.” Barbara jabs a finger at me.

“When you were going through the checkout, I noticed that your baby [sorry, you mean the 2.5 year old child?] was holding a bag from the bakery.”

“Er, yes, she was.”

“Did you put all of the items in the bag through the checkout?”

“Yes, of course I did!”

“Because I can’t see all the items on my back end report. May I see your receipt?”

Now is not the time to muse over her back end report. I forage around for the receipt before remembering it’s in the nappy bin. I abandon the buggy, retreat back into the toilet, and delve in, feeling thankful that I didn’t place the receipt inside the shitty nappy for tidiness.

I proffer the receipt to Barbara, who is warming to her theme. She dramatically pulls her glasses from the top of her head and tuts her way down the list of items. I’m pretty glad I didn’t pick up Femfresh today.

“No, it’s not on here. You’ve paid for two rolls, not one roll and a Pain au Chocolat.”

“Er, I brought two rolls and no Pain au Chocolat…?”

“But I saw it in the bag that the baby was holding. One white roll and one Pain au Chocolat. You’ve put it through as two rolls at 30p each.”

Fuck this bullshit. I wonder if I should alert her to the fact that I’m six months pregnant, in an attempt to assuage some sort of sympathy, then remember I haven’t actually stolen anything. I am in the right, dammit.

“I would like to see the bag please.” Then, in a slightly muted voice, she repeats to the security guard that she’d like to see the bag. I can’t bring myself to make eye contact with him in case I look guilty or cry. As a preggo, I cannot be trusted with the whole not crying thing. 

“Right. Here you go, one bag, two rolls.”

Barbara looks like I’ve punched her kitten in the face. “Ah. I see. It’s an olive roll.”

“Yes, that’s my lunch, an olive roll.”

“I thought it was a Pain au Chocolat.”

All of us peer at the olive roll, in its cellophane cloak of deception.

“Definitely an olive roll there.” chimes in the security guard. Yay! A cohort against Barbara! I still might cry though so I avoid his gaze.

“I thought that the olives looked like the bits of chocolate that poke out the end of a Pain au Chocolat, you see.”

No, Barbara, what you fucking thought is that to save myself all of 50p, I’d bung a Pain au Chocolat in with a tiger roll because they both weigh the same, then gobble it up in the TOILET because I’m so greedy and pregnant and poor that I can’t control myself.

“Are we done?” My BFF the security guard is probs due for his lunch and all this talk of olives and rolls must be making him ravenous for a cheese sarnie.

“I think so. Sorry madam but we get all sorts in here and I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t check.”

“Oh absolutely, I completely understand.” Please please please don’t cry in front of Barbara.

Our path is clear, we’re free to go. Mental note: need to give this place a wide berth for a week.

“Mummy?” Mouse pipes up. “Mummy, did you get me a panno shockola?”

And that, dear reader, is how I erroneously got questioned for shoplifting a Pain au Chocolat and stuffing my face with it in the baby change at Sainsbury’s. I feel much better for sharing, thank you.

-SJW November 2016

Mouse Moo Me Too


  1. November 1, 2016 / 8:43 am

    Oh my god Barbara, YOU COW!!!!

    Well don’t for not turning into a sobbing mess or shoving her head down the loo.


  2. November 1, 2016 / 9:28 am

    If i come across this Barbara i’ll be sure to give her a look and will encourage my boy to sing about poo au chocolats. That’ll sort her. How rubbish, I definitely would have cried. I feel like a pain au chocolat now…

  3. Ellen
    November 1, 2016 / 9:50 am

    I am howling but I also feel like crying on your behalf. I’d definitely have cried, preggo or not. Barbara is the definition of a fucking jobsworth. I love you Moose ❤️❤️

  4. November 1, 2016 / 10:52 am

    Who the hell does Babs think she is? I want to come down there and steal a pain au chocolat and eat it right in front of her face. Also, side note I craved pain au chocolat’s when I was pregnant. I say craved, I mean I was just a greedy cow.

  5. November 1, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    OMG Barbara sounds like a right cow. A measly pain au chocolat as well (actually, I fancy one now 😉 ) Your line about the audacity to cough made me laugh and took me back to those halcyon pregnant days #chucklemums

  6. November 1, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    I hope Babs was given the sack! Who does she think she is. This reminds me of a story from the MIL who apparently was shopping with Mr C and his twin and elder brother. The twins were in a double buggy. Anyway there was a Babs character in that store too and she was put under store arrest. They thought she had smuggled something in the buggy, probably an olive roll ;-). She was marched through the store in front of everyone as an announcement was put over the tannoy for the manager to come back from lunch as they had a shoplifter. They took the boys off her and threw her in a room until the police arrived. They then realised it had been an awful mistake and she was reunited with the boys. It’s awful! You should sue Babs! I appear to have left an essay – sorry!

  7. November 1, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    I really think I would have both cried AND punched Barbara in her face! This is hysterical!


  8. November 1, 2016 / 3:05 pm

    Barbara is a right bitch. But then I reckon most middle-aged women called Barbara are! Love the way you told that story, very funny 😀 #chucklemums

  9. November 1, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    Barbara needs to get laid. You definitely should have cried! #chucklemums

  10. November 1, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    Ahhh.. in my case it could have been a pain au chocolat… by that point id basically not slept for two years and had probably have been accidentally shop lifting them for 6 months or so. Whoops

  11. November 1, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Fucking hate Babs… Howl… Actually loved this story!
    She sounds like the bag for life police you get in Asda. Had a terrible misunderstanding with one of those a few weeks ago! #chucklemums

  12. November 1, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    I’m a reggo sainos frequenter and a rustic olive roll looks nothing like your average pain au chocolate. Perhaps Babs needs to go on a bap/roll/barmcake recognition update course? Defo a pain (au chocolate) in the arse sitch made worse by being preggo and caring for a small! Well done for leaving the prems with you head held high xx #chucklemums

  13. November 1, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    Oh, FFS! I mean, I’ve totally wanted to gobble a chocolate pastry in the bathroom at times (like most mums), but it’s not like we’re such junkies that we need to steal them.

  14. November 1, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    That Babs need a pain au chocolate in her whiney face. There must be more exciting criminals to chase surely?! #chucklemums

  15. November 1, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Poor Barbara, you probably ruined her whole year. I bet she was gutted for weeks afterwards.
    Perhaps we should all go down there and steal pain au chocolat just to make it up to her.

  16. November 2, 2016 / 7:40 am

    Oh. My. God. What a nightmare. Barbara definitely sounds like a jobs worth and I will be keeping all my receipts just in case now! I’m terrified of this sort of thing happening. #chucklemums

  17. November 2, 2016 / 3:05 pm

    I can just picture Barbara now. She was clearly auditing all pain au chocolat stock that passes through the tills in the fear that there may be none left for her to stuff into her chops at lunchtime. Possibly in the staff toilets. She’s clearly not arsed about olives. I think you should have high fived the security guard. Thanks for sharing 🙂 #Chucklemums

  18. November 4, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    Wow I had a very similar Tesco situation, but I did actually steal 2 crusty rolls and got off scot-free. I think you should’ve punched Barbara in the tits – what an absolute bitch. Sorry but a rustic olive roll looks NOTHING like a pain au chocolat. Get back in your box Babs! Beautifully written post as always xxx

  19. Emma Fox
    November 4, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    Quite possibly the best thing I’ve read all day! Thanks for sharing I’m glad to see that others have surreal experiences too! Hope you can face olive rolls from now on 🙂

  20. November 7, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    Oh my god!!! There’s so much to love about you in this story and so much angst at life – that woman! that pelvic floor! that shitty nappy – being a woman OMG is just so bloody not fun some days but you tell it just so brilliantly!

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