I ventured into a Supermarket today. What was I thinking about. Son wisely stayed in the car and watched Red Dwarf episodes. When I went shopping with my partner it seemed to insulate me from the madness occurring around us. Now as a single shopper I seem to absorb everything. It’s a truly bizarre experience.

First of all why do some supermarkets insist that they will only permit you to use one of the trolleys only if you first feed it a one pound coin. Could I find a one pound coin. Could I buggery. After 10 fruitless minutes ransacking the car I had to go into the supermarket to see if they would change a £10 note. “I’m sorry we are not allowed to give change”. So I bought the cheapest packet of sweets I could find. I fed the trolley it’s coin and off we went – in circles. Why is it of the 100 trolleys available I picked the one with the jammed wheel. So I tried again. This time the trolley went in a reasonably straight line but as I entered the shop the little blighter started squeaking. When I say squeaking I mean SQUEAKING. We are talking a 10000 opera singing mice squeaking through the Motorhead sound system. Too late to change as my first items are loaded.

I was going to get a melon but I watched as a chap proceeded to pick up every melon, squeeze them and then appear to smell them. Eventually he found one which he could love. Unfortunately I suddenly did not fancy a previously sniffed melon.

A little kid picking his nose ferociously within inches of the deli counter rather changed my view on lunch options.

Unbelievably I then watched as a woman started checking out every single cucumber. She was seriously squeezing each one. Some even got tapped on the counter. Strangely I crossed off Cucumber from the shopping list as I have a strict no purchase policy for all previously violated vegetables.

As I was trying to find just one tin of soup which was dairy free I heard a chap ask a Shop Assistant where the teabags could be found. The helpful advice the chap got was – well it’s not in this aisle it will be next to the coffee. When the chap asked where the coffee was he was told. It used to be in aisle 3 but they moved it. I’m sure you will find it if you keep going round the shop.

Then an old lady asked if I could pass her a tin of peaches down. I’m one 1/2 inch above average height. Why in God’s name do shops insist on having shelves where even an average height person has to go on tip toes to reach the stuff we are trying to buy. The poor woman who can’t be 5ft has got no chance shopping. Maybe the shop could hire stilts along with the trolley.

The aisle with the tomato ketchup and other sauces was cordoned off. Clearly a jar of something red had been dropped. However it must have been dropped with some force as most of the aisle resembled a scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That’s going to take some cleaning.

I then went past the discounted section. Not sure what produce was discounted as what appeared to be a team bus of local holligans where at least 3 deep around the area. That is going to be stripped bare.

The pet section had a deal on cat food. Everything seemed to be buy one get one free. Yet nothing for the dogs. Isn’t that discrimination. Plus how can gerbil bedding be so bloody expensive. It would be cheaper to buy them a proper duvet with matching cover. Or maybe just buy them a tree and let the Gerbils do the rest.

You make it through the pet section then you find the way blocked at the cereal aisle. An impromptu meeting of what appeared to be the bridge club had helpfully completely filled the walkway. Oh for a Battering Ram.

Special mention to the poor mum who had successfully navigated the supermarket carefully packing her trolley with the weekly essentials. Only to find out her toddler had been having a great game of putting any item in his reach back onto the shelves – definitely not in the correct position.

Then we come to the dress sense. Ok on the sartorial scale I’m near the bottom. But come on. One chap in a fine pinstripe suit with bright yellow training shoes. The lady in what can be best described as a ballerina costume. The young kid (maybe 8) with the f**k you T-shirt. Or maybe the chap walking around in what appeared to be a string vest which was probably last washed 10 years ago. Or perhaps the big chap walking around in Tour de France Lycra which was clearly on the point of exploding under the extreme pressure it was subject to. Wow what an old fart I’m becoming. To balance things out I was looking spectacular in my luminous green running shoes set against a blue and green relaxed fit T-shirt. My exploding lycra issue was tastefully hidden under matching black and white running shorts. I think the term your trying to think of is numpty.

The freezer section lives up to its name. The freezers are working that well that the surrounding air has been chilled to somewhere close to East Antarctic Plateau temperatures. You could see the colour literally being sucked out of the shoppers trying to reach the ice lolly section. To my cost I discovered how little insulation running shorts and Lycra provide. I will never look at frozen Brussels Sprouts in the same way again.

Then it’s time to pay. When I say time I mean that in the loosest sense. A long queue at every open till. Then they start to open another till. The start to the Monaco Grand Prix has nothing on the ensuing trolley carnage. I was expecting Kirk Douglas and Chariot to make an appearance. And then when we do get to a cash till. Of the 16 available why do I always pick the one where the poor cashier has the plague. 5 minutes of coughing and sneezing and blowing her nose. Deep Joy.

That’s why I am hermit….

94 thoughts on “Shopping

  1. I remember giving a sweet old lady a loonie in exchange for her shopping cart. Save her the long walk from her car to the store entrance. I thought I detected a little snicker as I walked away from her. When I returned my cart I realized I had not imagined the snicker. I could no remove the loonie when I returned the cart.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Canada did away with the 1 dollar bill and replaced it with a coin. The coin has the image of a loon. Now it’s affectionately called a loonie. Like wise our two dollar bill has been replaced with a coin which is affectionately called a toonie. (Would be more appropriate to spell it as townie.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Canada also did away with the penny. So now the classroom skill of rounding off the purchase price comes in handy. A PR focused business will always round down. This of course only applies to cash purchases.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hilarious.was laughing so much while reading it.Thanks for the great start of my day.
    This happened to me too when my kids were small.They used to put all the items of the trolley back but somehow colorful loops and chocolate bars never once fell off from the trolley😆😆😆

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sometimes it is better NOT to watch what others do with the vegetables, Just buy the ones you want, take them home and sterilize them before you eat them. Rinse well, of course!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So they don’t listen, at least you can say you tried. The touchers and sniffers won’t listen anyway, that will just give them more to do, but you will have tried.
        The question becomes, what if they do listen, then you can ask why someone is sniffing from the wrong pile. You are capable of changing something that you don’t like.
        Don’t fail before you start. But take the chance. The worst you can do is succeed at failing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My thoughts exactly. This is just a microcosm example. What the world needs is a macrocosm example, such as gun control in North America, and elsewhere. What I hear is you can’t fight the NRA. Who made them gods? We fought Big Tobacco, and while we did not drive them out of business at least we put some shackles on them.They thought they were untouchable. Now we have to “TOUCH” the NRA too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the photo! Looks like Autumn is on the way?

    The red mess in the sauces aisle was what was left after another shopper saw a woman grab the last remaining jar of Branston Pickle off the shelf just before he could and he went at her with a previously tested for firmness and crispness cucumber cosh!

    The tape is supermarket crime scene tape and they were waiting for a forensic team to arrive before they could begin clean up.

    You got out alive – count your blessings.

    (You really did a great job describing your re-integration into ‘human’ society by the way! 10/10! ) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m so pleased it wasn’t you who went off – there seemed to be quite sufficient provocation?

        Or are you just joining me in the ranks of the Grumpy Old Men?? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m yet to stumble upon any NZ supermarket that charges for use of their trolleys. I freely admit, that I was gobsmacked the first time that I discovered most overseas air terminals charge trolley hire – none do here. On the other hand my wife, who grew up in Japan was just as surprised when she discovered that trolleys are free here.

    There are two supermarkets in our town of 14,000 and until a few months ago I avoided one of them like the plague. The acoustics is terrible, the lighting is unpleasant and I can only remain inside for a few minutes before I feel I must immediately vacate the premises. The other supermarket was much nicer. More natural light and the refrigeration units were almost silent. During those times of the day when it was relatively quite. I actually enjoyed browsing for interesting and new items while shopping.

    Then they moved to new “better and brighter” premises. Although not quite as bad as the other supermarket, it runs a close second. Now it’s a case of deciding what to purchase before going in, collecting the necessary items as quickly as possible and using a self service checkout as they never have queues, unlike those where there’s a checkout operator. One of the joys of being an Aspie: Better and brighter usually isn’t

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Great post! Well done. Your humor is on point, and the human race, as always, provides plenty of fodder. I also struggle with the grocery store. My husband was such a buffer for me in such trying interactions with the public at large. Over the summer, I managed to go to the store a couple of times, but mostly I stick to using the store’s pick up service. I can order online, make an appointment for pick up, and they bring the groceries to the car. It still requires being vulnerable though as my “picker”, the person who receives and fills my order, knows a lot about me based on my grocery list….peanut butter and frozen dinners says a lot about a person. Be well, Malia

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A buffer is such a good way of putting it. I never realised it until the world changed but it’s such a scary place when you suddenly go single again (and it’s not your choice). I always think that when you lose someone the world doesn’t blink it just keeps spinning. It then doesn’t slow down to let you back on so you always feel slightly out of synch. That sounds like my food intake these days. I do use the pick up service but every so often I force myself into the shops. Really not sure why. I really hope you are doing well. Gary.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Supermarkets can be hell, but kudos to you for leaving your son with Red Dwarf episodes. I’m currently working through these with my own boys — we’ve nearly reached the end of the second series and the question I hear most often is “When is Kryten coming back?”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. We reached the third series last night. The scene in the first episode (Backwards) when the Cat goes into the bushes had everyone falling off their chairs with laughter 😉


  8. I know I shouldn’t, but this had me in hysterics Gary. I know exactly how you feel, and as for the attire of shoppers, you need to read the last paragraph of this post:
    I keep a ‘happy pound’ token in the car for the shopping trolleys, and luckily know the layout of the supermarkets we use. You can guarantee that the mother’s meeting or family reunion takes place exactly in the way of where I want to be!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I loved this. I find the high shelf problem frequently but there’s usually a person around I can ask for help, which I really dislike to do. It makes me feel dependent which I also hate to admit. I feel I’m bothering them, although I’ve met a few who stopped to converse which was a blessing. I laughed at this enjoyable post, thank you! Did you see the article about finding a live frog in an organic bag of salad greens? Now that would have really made your day!😂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. At least your son got to watch plenty of Red Dwarf. 🙂 But honestly, this is why I HATE taking the kids grocery shopping. I’d rather stay up late and go out after they’re in bed. The boys go on overload, Blondie gets flustered….ugh, it’s awful.

    Liked by 1 person

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