Saturday, September 23, 2006

Aisle go mad!

If they'd had supermarkets in 13th century Italy, I feel sure Dante would have used one as a model for one of the lower Circles of Hell. On my pet hate list, supermarket visits rank below John Howard, above pairing socks and roughly equal with de-turding the kitty litter tray.

I don't really mind a hit and run on the local, where you park out the front, dash in, buy chocolate and a magazine and leave three minutes later via the 10 items or less queue. It's the full scale, we're-out-of-everything-and-I-have-to-make-a-goddamned-list shopping trip that I really hate.

It has to be done, though. You just can't buy loo paper or Omo at the Central Market. And if I run out of the type of canned kitty fodder Mr Furpants likes, he turns our lives into a mewing, whining, ankle-clawing hell. So I go to the supermarket.

I interviewed a spritualist once who told me that one of the reasons people feel so grouchy and out of sorts in supermarkets is that you have to walk through the auras of so many other people. You know that nasty shudder you get sometimes when you pass someone? You've just walked through their aura and it was poo-brown. I don't belive in auras (though if I did, mine would obviously be gold with spangles, the shade reserved for crabby bitches). She did have a point: it's the other shoppers that make supermarkets truly nasty. I can cope better if there's hardly anyone there, but a packed Coles makes me want to peel off my own skin.

So, to make a supermarket visit complete, you need at least one of several types of shopper:

The Demon Child, who has a borderline personality disorder, is mainlining red food colouring and has the lungs of Luciano Pavarotti. This child will not be happy.

The Frazzled Parent of Demon Child, who appears not to notice the fact that their offspring's screeches have shattered jars of mayonnaise in aisle five. Invaribaly, the Frazzled Parent will suddenly lose his or her wick with a Godzilla-worthy roar while you have your back turned, scaring six months' growth out of you. For maximum points, this will happen when you are comparing the sugar content on different brands of cranberry juice. While wearing something white.

The Morbidly Obese Aisle Clogger should preferably riding a Gopher. He may appear to be slow-moving, but somehow he is still everywhere you turn, sitting in the middle of the aisle comparing brands of lard. If this person is next to you in the check-out queue or at the deli counter, he will fart and the result will be eyewatering. He will also be cunning enough to shift the blame by giving you a disgusted look.

The Tightarse is so enamoured of saving 20 cents on their total bill that they have to share the secret of their success and will offer you advice on cheaper versions of things you have in your trolley. "Those Savings meat pies are much cheaper, you know. They're all pies! Don't you want to save money?" Sure, but not if it means I have to eat a minced mouse and cockcroach crap pie. I prefer steak and mushroom.

The Dairy Cabinet Reunion. (Admittedly this is a group, but I'll count it as one, large, annoying shopper.) Supermarkets are for buying things and getting the hell out. They are not for chatting. Meet for a beer later if you like, or even have dinner, but for Ford's sake move your arses from in front of the damned milk!

The Squeezer, as the name implies, squeezes the bread, fondles the fruit and handles the pick'n'mix lollies. Closely related is The Sneezer, who coughs or sneezes on something you were thinking about buying. He or she may also sneeze wetly into a hand and then put it back on the trolley handle, causing you to examine your own trolley handle for bogies.

The Lost Boy is more tragic than annoying. It's clear that his partner has sent him out to buy a number of items which may or may not include tampons. He will be looking traumatised and talking urgenly into his mobile phone, saying things like, "Super or regular?" or "But there are fourteen types of butter! Which one do you want?" I stopped taking The Bloke shopping because he was prone to climbing onto the trolley and scooting down aisles. When people were looking.

There are probably others, but these seem to be the ones that piss me off on a regular basis. Anyway, now I've set the scene, I'll tell you about this morning's supermarket run. I was resigned to it, psyched up, but I never imaged the horror that was waiting for me: a check-out log jam of Biblical proportions.

What could have happened? Was everyone stocking up to ride out a nuclear winter? It's Christmas and I forgot? Had the government announced supermarkets were going to be abolished? No. It was far more banal: football. One of the hometown teams was playing in the national semi-finals and every bastard was getting the shopping done early to leave time to watch the game, drink beer and yell drunkely.

I have no use for Aussie rules at the best of times, apart from liking to ogle Matthew Primus' chest and arm muscles occasionally. (I'm only human, after all.) And no, I neither know nor care who won. But thanks for getting into the finals, boys. You really put the roasted vomit sprinkles on my crapcream sundae.

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At 11:02 am, September 24, 2006, Blogger PetStarr said...

HAHAHAHHAA, ohhh classic! This blog just gets better and better! And I'm glad to find someone else who finds the supermarket as fascinating as I do! Hope you enjoyed that crapcream sundae.

At 9:15 pm, September 25, 2006, Anonymous Vitt said...

Brilliant, I now refuse to do the grocery shopping, I know how terrible am I, but I just can't bring myself to do it.


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