Thursday, 19 March 2009

...supermarket rant

I hate supermarkets. I always try to be in and out of them in 10 or so minutes, list in hand, bristling with optimism and impatience. However my plans for an efficient trip with a quick getaway are inevitably thwarted. Can anybody like a supermarket? How can you like a place where when you rock up and have to park miles away because noone can see lines on asphalt these days and leave three-quarter parking spaces everywhere? And then you go and get a broken shopping trolley with 3 wheels facing in opposite directions and when you push it the opposing forces threaten to blow it apart showering the carpark with twisted metal. And you have to dig up a gold coin for the pleasure and you soon realise an error in your planning as you rifle through your console looking under the multitude of silver coins and naturally fail to locate one that will work. So you have to enter the dreaded store prematurely and you wait with every leathery-skinned smoker in the suburb at the 'Customer Service' counter and after reading the entire day's Herald-Sun, including the 28-page formguide eleven times even though you remain strongly opposed to gambling and the whipping of large, dumb, animals with midgets strapped to their backs, you trade in your 20c pieces for a rusty old dollar so you can earn the right to re-enter the store and give them hundreds of your hard earned dollars and then afterwards return your trolley neatly to the trolley parking area so management don't have to pay some poor teenage refugee $7.25 per hour to round the bastards up.

So you enter, trolley groaning with pent up energy of unimaginable proportions, already half an hour past your planned time of departure after dodging the old codgers in Volvos and young powermums driving large, shiny, urban assault vehicles filled with 7-year old private school kids that are already smarter than you, busy finding cures for cancer and surfing Facebook on their iPhones as balding middleage men in Audi convertibles pop in on their way home to buy some flowers and a box of choccys for the missus to ease the guilt of spending the last two hours 'overtime' shagging the 23 year old admin lady as you run the gauntlet that is the carpark.

And your entry is inevitably thwarted by some confused person at the swinging-gate-thingy who is displaying all the symptoms of someone who has never actually been in public before, which could be quite interesting but you have no patience today as you make a break for the least congested direction. And you find yourself looking for that obscure ingredient that could be in this aisle, or that aisle, or possibly that aisle, depending on if the floor manager feels an egg is a "Cooking Need" or a "Fresh Produce" so you walk a distance equivalent to halfway to the moon and back until your feet get blisters and your knees buckle and it hurts to piss and you see a tall, young man who's badge thankfully proclaims him to be a "Fresh Food Person" and he tries not to make eye contact with you as he strides down the aisle pretending he has just been telepathically summoned by the manager to do something really important so you bail him up and demand to know where the fuck the eggs are hiding even though you've already walked past them 17 times and he says "Try Aisle 3", not because the eggs are in Aisle 3 but because he was getting scared from seeing a large blood vessel pulsating up your face past your red, twitching eyeball and just said anything to make you go away.

So you decide to go try the deli again to get a frozen piece of "fresh" fish but as you approach two dozen stocky, old Italian women armed with half-price ciabata loaves jump out from behind a pyramid of overpriced coliban potatoes big enough to be Tutankhamen's Ocean Grove weekender and each grab a little deli-ticket-thingy just before you do. So you diveroll away to find solace by the yoghurt fridge, but soon find yourself muscled out by power-shopping, lycra clad yuppies with ponytails trying to decide if they should grab the no-fat yoghurt or be really outrageous and let themselves go this week by purchasing the 99.99% fat-free, and you hate them for being so healthy and attractive as you lurch off down the aisle with the batteries and rat poison and clothespegs because noone is ever there, but you soon realise that noone is there because some homemaker with a 1-yar old has dropped a toe-curling fart with an aroma not unlike a broken jar of egg mayonnaise so you hold back the puke and nearly slip on a broken jar of mayonnaise as you sprint back to the deli with your screeching trolley which is now glowing red-hot and showering sparks and take ticket #36 as they call out "Number 37!" And you wait there for 3 weeks before asking the spotty, squeaky-voiced teen for some fetta until you realise they don't actually have any real fetta except for the one that is $1,579.99 per kilo so you buy the C-grade imitation Australian 'fetta' from Wonthaggi and a frozen fish stick labelled "Whiting" that is sitting in a puddle of translucent slime next to the mysterious "Ovenable Fish" and trudge off to pick up a bag of wet, unwashed lettuce wrapped in heavy plastic for $3.99 even though you know you'll throw half of it out because it only lasts 24hrs and you only need a dozen leaves but you have no other choice because you can't buy the stuff loose anymore. And all the while the background music switches between George Michael, Celine Dion, and some incredibly irritating song trying to convince me how passionate the kids working there are about 'fresh food' until you start to succumb to the brainwashing and feel happy that you aren't getting your gear from stale food people because apparently you can't get fresh food anywhere else in the fucking country as some boofhead bumps your vibrating, near-fission, glowing trolley and out flies the congealed fishstick and lands in a sticky patch next to the milk fridge that has turned black with the grimey footsteps of a thousand jokers.

Then you arrive at the checkout as the lady in the front of the queue looks up at you, startled and says "Woops! Won't be a min!" as she runs off and returns 1 hour later with an armful of chocoloate blocks, glossy magazines and some essential NibblyBitz for her ugly cat and then decides to pay the $48.73 bill in 5 and 10 cent pieces but realises at the end she is 15 cents short and the checkout kid dearly wants to say "Don't worry about it. It's only 15 cents" but she can't or else she'll be dragged off by a squad of men in black pyjamas from a secret doorway so the customer pulls out the EFTPOS card but enters the wrong pin number three times and you look at the other 2 open lanes and think if I had have lined up over there instead there I'd be home by now, I'd have had dinner and a bath by now, hell it'd be the bloody weekend by now, even if I'd gone through the 12 items or less aisle 4.3 times. And every time you make eye contact with the customer service manager she looks at the floor then runs away and hides in the back room and when it's your turn you step out of the large pile of dead skin cells accumulating at your feet and nearly trip over your long, grey beard and some smartarse comes up behind you and says "I've only got two things mate. Can I go ahead?" and you reluctantly say "Yes" because if you didn't you'd feel like a prick and generally try to avoid tension but you feel like a prick anyway for letting yourself be pushed around by tossers who think their time is more important than yours and when it's finally your turn you realise that you forgot to bring those green envirobags and you feel like the world's biggest enviro-vandal as the trainee-checkout kid puts 30 items into 52 plastic bags in 96 minutes, including that little blue bag that cleaning products seem to have to go in and you wonder "Isn't bogroll perfectly hygenic until you wipe your arse with it?" So you pay the $893.82 bill, walk the 121 kilometres to your car then make the return journey so you can get your bloody $2 back on the flaming, smoking, red-hot trolley that is behaving more and more like a doomsday device, a dangerous weapon of mass consumption.

Then you get home and realise you forgot the bloody bread!


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At 20 March 2009 at 10:55 , Blogger Kath Lockett said...

Oh, MATP, I'm crying - with laughter, sorry - but I do feel your pain. In fact I felt like I was on that particular shopping expedition with you and now need a good stiff drink and a lie down...!

At 21 March 2009 at 01:10 , Blogger the projectivist said...
thank you.
LOVE that post.
fucking HATE shopping though.

At 22 March 2009 at 15:00 , Blogger kiki said...

wait, you read the herald sun?

At 23 March 2009 at 08:59 , Blogger The Man at the Pub said...

KL - I often finish a supermarket trip with a good, stiff drink or 12.

Projectivist - I hears ya

Kiki - Just the formguide...17 times a day!

At 27 March 2009 at 04:10 , Blogger EmmaK said...

There is one upside of supermarket shopping. That is if you go to the scan your own stuff aisle and then when you pack your stuff, often some halfwit has left their produce behind. Well it makes sense to take it doesn't it because its been paid for you know? I get quite a kick out of free yogurts let me tell you.

At 27 March 2009 at 20:36 , Blogger the projectivist said...

that Emma, oh she's having a larrf isn't she?
like scan your own is even INVENTED in this country!

At 2 April 2009 at 21:24 , Blogger The Blakkat said...

Yep. But add to that getting your wallet pickpocketed whilst in bluddy supermarket and only discovering this after you've just put through over $100 worth of groceries at the checkout and then the trip to the supermarket takes on a previously unexplored dimension of hell on man-made earth.


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