Despite my woman-flu (it’s like man-flu except you still get up, still get dressed, and still do most of the things you’d normally do) today hasn’t been completely wasted. I went to the supermarket.
Now, I like shopping. Girlie shopping, I like. The kind of shopping that involves looking at pretty things, stroking soft things, and snarling at nice clothes that only come in sizes 8-12, I like. Grocery shopping.. not so much.
It’s not the actual physical act of the shopping that gets to me. I quite like leaning on the trolley, getting to an empty aisle and lifting my feet up and going ‘wheeeeeee-eeeeee!!’ (and don’t pretend you’ve never done it). I quite like choosing food, I get a peculiar pleasure from anything that’s Buy One Get One Free, and I do so love the chocolate aisle and the book section.
No, it’s the other people that spoil it. Supermarket shoppers usually fall into one of the following categories;
1) The CAT – Careless, Arrogant Twit. He isn’t in a hurry, even if you are. He also needs the whole aisle, so he occupies a central position as he strolls down each section, preventing you from passing on either side. When he spots something that interests him, he sidesteps and in doing so, spins his trolley out at a 90° angle with a casual flick of the wrist, thereby effecting blocking your passage. He’s also ignorant, so he doesn’t listen the first seventeen times you say ‘Excuse me..?’ and then glares at you when you smash his trolley out of the way.
2) The DIM – Distracted Indulgent Mum. She’s dropped one of the brats at the childminder’s because she can’t cope with both of them at once. The other one (Oscar) is in the child seat of the trolley, where he’s taking full advantage of both his new-found height-and-reach abilities, and the fact that the DIM is ignoring him whilst looking for hand-woven Patagonian muesli with added Omega 48 oils, and is systematically stripping every shelf of its goodies and distributing them between DIM’s trolley and every other within reach. Including yours. When she finally clocks him, she’ll say something like “Darling, do we really want to be doing this? It makes Mummy very sad when we do this, treasure…”. When she hears you sniggering she gets narky and follows you around for three aisles muttering at you.
3) The DOM – Doddery Old Midget. The DOM has come to Tescbury’s on the Community Transport Bus, which is an excellent scheme for getting old people out of the house, but unfortunately runs to a timetable that is a little pressured for a person who can see Death out of the corner of their eye.
This means that the DOM is trying to complete her shopping in double-quick time, which is complicated by the fact that she can’t reach anything higher than the second shelf. If, like me, you were brought up to have respect for the elderly and to offer assistance, you’ll find yourself accompanying the DOM around the entire store, climbing to the rafters in search of Go-Cat and humbugs and hoping the other shoppers don’t think it’s you who smells faintly of wee.
When I rule the world, each type of shopper will have their own ‘slot’ and they can then compete within their categories – perhaps for a small trophy.