Those of you who know me, know I’m a reasonable guy, I mean sure, I might use a spicy word or two once in a while, I can admit to muttering “holy blimmin’ goodness” the other day when a woman smashed into the back of my car at the lights. I may have even clenched my fist briefly when our Orange Hound’o’the home ‘Hula’ chewed my $80 pair of Sennheiser headphones recently.
With that being said in most day to day situations I’m as calm as a Hindu cow, going about my business with a sort of contented detachment that can only comes with the knowledge and expectation that:
Things around you will, at times go wrong
People will say and do stupid things
Life can be complicated and unpredictable
Not everything will always go your way.
May I clarify with you that this is not about being cynical or pessimistic, but rather maintaining a sort of resigned realism that: you win some, you lose some & as long as you don’t dwell on how much you do or don’t have, its pretty easy to plod along quite happily, choosing to find joy, happiness and humour in the parts of life you enjoy, and learning from, and forgetting the parts of life you don’t.
So… hopefully by now I’ve established myself as the happy go lucky ‘everyman’ of this particular blog post. A man whose sense of reason is so profound that he is able to remain as cool as an Emperor Penguins beergut even in the face of bone-jarring incompetence, tooth-shattering misfortune , And shit-chilling arrogance.
The Achilles heel to my sense of reason, the kryptonite to my superhuman composure, the dark temple whose only purpose is seemingly to destroy my sense of well being is…
And not only that particular location… but any busy supermarket.
Supermarkets are like a pulsating teeming hive of pure human stupidity, greed, and ignorance.
A place where the absolute worst instances of human social interaction are thrown together in a huge bubbling, embarrassing, frustrating melting pot.
“Oh Case!” I can hear you saying, “surely you are overreacting, I rather enjoy the weekly shop, I think you’re being a little dramatic aren’t you?”
Well listen, thanks for your input, but with all due respect, I’m gonna need you to shut your stinking mouth, I don’t look over your shoulder clucking my tongue at you while you’re emailing your uncle Pete about your cat’s ear medication do I? So in the immortal words of Dame Judi Dench: “Fall back haters, this ain’t nothin but a muthafuckin G thang”
Anyways, before I was rudely interrupted by your self indulgent lunatic rantings, I was about to explain what it is about the supermarket that enrages me so much.
It starts from the second you select a trolley… each wheel is weighted and shaped some weird way causing the entire rig to handle like a new born deer taking its first steps on a frozen lake, one wheel has always got a 3 inch chunk of plastic shaved off the rim, causing the cart to make a loud banging sound every .84 seconds, and there’s always some sort of unidentifiable smegma on the pushbar.
You approach the deli and take your spot next to the person being served, out of the corner of your eye you notice an evil looking withered up old crone in fishnet stockings and an ill fitting black pleather skirt/black lace tunic ensemble, who shambles up next to you. She looks like the mummified remains of some sort of zombie-witch prostitute, as she paws through her immense handbag, no doubt looking for some sort of garish coral pink lipstick to finish off her undead hooker chic.
As the deli attendant asks what you would like, her head snaps up and her burning hateful eyes lock with yours
“exkeeyouse moy! I was eckshilloy heeh befoy yo”
You quickly weigh up whether or not its worth standing up for your rights in this situation and decide that this woman has definitely killed before, and will again… you can wait another minute or so for your feta stuffed olives and $2 worth of luncheon if it prevents her sinking her hepatitis infected incisors into edge of your armpit, and decide to let her go ahead of you. “I vuckin noy I’m gowan first y’rude prick, hev some vuckin rispect”
You decide you’ll come back to the deli when the chances of getting stabbed in the kidney with a crudely sharpened nailfile aren’t quite so high.
Winston Churchill once said; “if you’re going through hell, keep going” which is the exact philosophy you apply and decide you are going to attempt to rush through and gather all of your shopping in record time, allowing you to return home and reap the benefits of a shop well done.
This is if course… totally impossible.
The other 600 slackjawed ambling nimrods sauntering around the complex with 3 items in their trolleys muttering to themselves will see to it that you will never leave a supermarket in less than 47 minutes (my current record) no matter how fast you attempt to go.
No, within that vast neon lit food emporium all sense of common courtesy, normal rational thought and spatial awareness goes out the window. In a supermarket, a normally rational man will inexplicably turn his trolley side on, in the middle of a busy aisle blocking any movement both ways to inspect the label on a jar of pasta sauce.
And when you politely ask to get by he will turn and look at you scornfully as if you’d just asked him to come and help you dispose of the body of a dead kindergarten teacher.
Women who don’t know one another will walk side by side towards you with trolleys, allowing no way to get around them and so as you wait to the side for one to naturally take the lead leaving you a gap to get through, they will both just stop and stand rooted to the spot, blinking at you, until after 5 agonizing seconds with furious blood pounding at your temples, you suggest that one of them moves back or forward allowing you through, another 5 seconds passes before one if them sighs dramatically and retreats a few steps, leaving a gap for you to get your trolley thru with 2 mills clearance on either side.
Speaking of Spatial awareness and its importance in a busy supermarket, six year old kids don’t generally have the wherewithal to push a trolley without becoming an infuriating nuisance, however Mothers seem to think its adorable to let little Mitch push the trolley around like he’s a little adult! Just remember Deb, its a little less endearing when Mitchy gets side-tracked looking at a packet of Cool Ranch Doritos and rams the trolley into Old Man Larsen’s pre-historic Achilles tendons, effectively ending his lawn bowls career in a single thrust. Maybe save the trolley training for off peak times.
After what seems like an eternity of navigating mazes of idiots, selecting items and leaping out of the way of crazed larricans, you are almost finished, but what supermarket journey would be complete without an encounter with the “drama mama”
Y’know the Mother who wants to make damn sure that the entire world knows how badly she is coping with motherhood, if her son so much as touches a chocolate bar she will wheel around in her acid wash denim jacket and loudly berate him, shrieking like a flaming harpy, and creating a huge scene.
As you pull your trolley up to the checkout, she will then choose to ignore the express lane and duck in to a regular checkout with her basket, cutting in front of a nice elderly lady who was literally one metre from pulling her trolley in beside the conveyor belt next to yours.
This denimclad lunatic will then unload her 6 six items, then mutter something about forgetting something and you, the old lady and the checkout operator will watch in shocked disbelief as she then meanders, (and I mean slowly) down the entire length of the supermarket, leaving her filthy son, clad only in his underpants swinging on the bar dividing the checkouts, only to return several minutes later with a single ear of corn, she will then put it on the counter and then make a halfassed apology before schlumping off in the other direction to bring back a tub of polyunsaturated table spread 3 minutes later. Even her son glances up at you with a “can you fuckin believe this bitch?” look on his face, before she roughly grabs his forearm and whips him away in a frenzy of bitter yammering and cheap denim.
Your operator is of course totally uninterested and proceeds to pack all of your canned goods on top of your bread, and your household cleaning products in with your meat.
You pay $55 more than you were expecting to, thank god you have made it thru another trip and pump your fist in triumph, safe in the knowledge that the whole nasty business is over for another week.
But somewhere unbeknownst to you, deep in your reusable shopping bag, there is a hole where your feta stuffed olives and $2 worth of luncheon should be.
And somewhere, in the distance an undead hooker cackles to herself.
So there u have it, this was a recount of a particularly mild journey to my local woolworths. And I hope I have shed some light on my reasons for disliking supermarkets. And as I’m sure you’ll agree, in such a succinct manner.
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