Perils of Supermarket Shopping

Posted on October 8, 2010


On a recent trip to my local supermarket I realised that I would rather take a vegetable peeler to my body and bath in vinegar than ever do this again.  Thank god for online shopping, never again do I have to grace the labyrinth of fear that is the ‘Supermarket’.

Unbeknown to many people shopping is one of the most dangerous things you can do, not just on your wallet but also on your physical and mental well being.  Not only do you have to have a full scale strategic deployment plan as well as a tactical advantage, you need to have exceptional reflexes and a degree in aversion techniques.

My plan is to go prepared, take a list do not deviate from it, get in and out as quickly as possible.  However my plan is always thwarted by the hordes of zombie shoppers who I believe never leave the store; I swear I’ve seen the same people aimlessly wandering from aisle to aisle in search of the exit (have you noticed that the swinging gates to let you in only go one way!)   I don’t know how many times I’ve been rammed into by a trolley, bashed by a basket or had to dodge a low flying missile directed at me by a screaming toddler.

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I know that trolleys are the bain of my shopping existence; I always get the one with a mind of its own.  Personally I think they are built with a rerouting device to guide you to specific items that no one in their right mind would buy otherwise “Right toilet paper.  No, I don’t need to go to this section, ooooohhhhh shiny thing!!!!”  The supermarkets have cleverly planted their own re-routers, whose job is to mow me down if I stray from the deviated trolley route and just in case that fails, there are more who will walk so slowly in front of me that I have no choice but to go down a different aisle from the one I really want.

Having fooled the trolley and avoided the re-routers I would like to carry on with my original plan but I’m scuppered at every corner, more rerouters disguised as mums with kids, who block the way with their pushchairs, trolleys and endless chat, whilst their kids run riot, poking their grimy saliva covered fingers in anything covered by cling film (usually the joint of beef you need for Sunday roast), the person who stalks behind you to grab the very item you were going to and the shopper sheep that decide wherever you are going they want to be right in there too. Maybe they think I can get them out of there, although generally at this point I’m losing the will to live, shop and my exit strategy is looking similar to that of a lab rat.

The other thing I have discovered is that no sooner as I become familiar with the layout of the supermarket it cleverly repositions itself.  This is clearly a tactic again to confuse me where the exit is and to fool me into buying something I don’t need or really want.   I go to get my milk and I’m faced with rows and rows of chocolates, DVD’s, kitchen utensils – screaming “Buy one get one free”.  I don’t want it or need it but it’s free, therefore I must buy buy buy!  It doesn’t matter that my cupboards are lined with items that were buy one get one free.  I don’t like it, I’m never going to eat or use it but you know Christmas is close and I’ll use it then.  Christmas is coming (Yay! – even more opportunities for shopping) and if you get a tin of butter broad beans in a quaint homemade hamper from me, I can assure you these were definitely expensive and not at all something you would find in a buy one get one free section of the supermarket.

So at this point I’m usually laden with lots of shiny things and buy one get one free items as well as a few of the things I actually wanted and as there’s no room left for anything else I find that the supermarket has accomplished its goal and ushers me towards the sound of beeping and bright lights (no I didn’t die or pass out) I found the checkout and the Exit!!!