A perfectly tranquil setting which feels like a million miles from civilisation a dit’s madness.

What possesses anyone to venture into a English Supermarket on the 23rd December. As Son sat in the car I donned my finest Indiana Jones costume and ventured into the tunnels of hell to try and secure the prize. This time the prize was not a rare artefact. The goal was milk, bread, cheese, fruit juice, ice cream and carrots.

This wasn’t a shop. This was an ordeal. A form of modern torture. A sometimes moving sea of humanity – usually moving in the wrong direction. Too terrifying for even an a hero like Indiana. Milk, bread and cheese ticked off. The fruit juice and carrot sections stripped bare. Are we prepping for an upcoming apocalyptic winter. No I forgot it’s the few days of Christmas.

Trying to fight my way through the hoards to the freezer section. So many empty sections almost as if they had been previously visited by a plague of locusts. A brave shop assistant trying to bring a box of frozen parsnips to the freezer. As he walks shoppers are rapidly emptying his box. A few seconds later he’s walking back to the store room. Poor chap never stood a chance. He didn’t get within 50 yards of the freezer before he was stripped bare. At the freezer ice cream is at a premium. Must be summer. From the empty sections and desperate shopper faces the luxury little tubs costing a million pounds each are this years must have. Luckily the value vanilla tubs are clearly being shunned in the shopping frenzy today. So I’m now finished. Almost….

Then you get to the mayhem which is the cash tills. At least 10 deep. I opted for the self service as every cashier appeared to be sneezing and coughing. After 20 minutes I’m next in line. Unfortunately a family better placed in The Simpson’s stood in my way. Clearly a bar code reader was beyond them. Just putting the item straight into your bag is not going to work. Covering the bar code up with your hand is not going to work. Scanning an item then rescanning the item isn’t going to work. Then with half of your items still on the conveyor belt just basically giving up is not going to work. They just paid for the few items they had managed to scan and left. Leaving a poor over worked shop assistant to remove the unscanned items so giving the rest of the poor sods stood in line a chance to get on with their life’s.

Finally returning to the car to find it’s now well sandwiched between two cars clearly deciding 6 inches is enough space to open the car door and slide easily into the drivers seat. Have they seen the size of my bum….. Luckily son was in the car and he opened the window. The window proving the only way into my car. I guess Starsky and Hutch entered there red police car with a bit more star quality than me. Finally at the wheel a careful 27 point turn managed to free the car from the parking spot.

Dad did you remember the bananas.

No son. I forgot but thankfully as they are for me then they can wait until normality has returned. I’m guessing sometime in 2025.

Don’t you just love Christmas.

33 thoughts on “Christmas Diaries 4 – Shopping

  1. Hello Gary. Here in the US it is a bit less stressful as we are use to stocking more in our pantries and cupboards so our needs for Christmas or other holidays are less. We normally only dash out this time of year to get the few odd missing ingredients which is an in and out thing. On parking lots I can understand totally. We downsized to a small fuel efficient car this last year. But the parking spaces also seem to have shrunk. Not only that try getting in or out of your vehicle while other drives refuse to give you the courtesy to do so as they shoe horn their cars next to you. Best wishes to you and your son this holiday. Hugs

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  2. Shopping horrors!! One year, on Christmas Eve, I took my son -home from college- to do his shopping. We were stuck in a line of traffic in the parking lot and nowhere to go… I don’t even remember if we got into the stores. I vowed then, that unless it was a life or death situation… I stay home!!

    Happy Christmas!!

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  3. You should have come to our store. At one point when I came back from coffee my line was half way down the deli aisle. Check out 8 had a line that went half way to the back freezer. However all customers were terrific. No one yelled or snarked. Well one lady who put her stuff down and when I asked how she wanted me to back the items she got irritated and annoyed. Next time I won’t ask lol Half the people shopped today and tomorrow all the people who thought they were being smart by coming on the 24th will come together. Am glad you got the required items. 🙂

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    1. It’s madness. I remember my partner ordering some food for the Christmas lunch from M&S. I went to pick it up on Christmas Eve. I arrived and the queue was at the front door. Had to wait 3 hours. They tried to hand out mince pies but they ran out just before they got to me. Never ever again.

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  4. Ah, the hidden joys of living in backwoods Canada. We walked into the store, bought a hundred dollars worth of food, and walked out 15 minutes later with no stress. I would recommend it for everyone, but then it wouldn’t be backwoods anymore…

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  5. Hah!!! I did the exact same thing! We must remind each other next year to go on the 20th!!! I fought tooth and nail to win the last available bunch of celery! No more Monterrey Jack cheese, so White Cheddar will have to do. By the time I reached the checkout, I was so exhausted I left half my groceries behind, and am thankful for the cashier who came running out after me, telling me I had left behind potatoes, bagels, chips (crisps to you), and chicken! Sigh. Next year I will do better.

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  6. LOL! Yeah, I was one of those crazies in the grocery store on Thanksgiving Day. NOT recommended. 🙂 Still, you survived, and your son could thankfully help you return to the car. Whew!
    Also just wanted to let you know that I am still alive. The teaching’s been INSANE.Someday I’ll get to actually write and read, someday…hugs to you from Wisconsin!

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      1. Honestly, I’ve no idea. A sinking feeling tells me most of January will be like this, BUT, who knows? So I’ll just do one day at a time…like today’s got to be all about grading and writing about music so I can post tomorrow. On the one hand it sucks, because I can’t hang out with the kids much, but on the other hand it’s, you know, grocery money and my own sanity. Plus if I haul ass today I can spend time with them tomorrow.
        And we FINALLY have snow! So Hugs from Wisconsin Snow-People xxxxxx

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      2. It does feed us and pay the bills. I really could do with a few more hours to do that better. But it is what it is and we just got to make the best of it. And you most certainly do. I hope you at the very least have a warm room, some good music on and get a few treats brought to you. Then tomorrow you will have fun. Hugs from a very very windy Yorkshire. xxxxxxx

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