I’m a supermarket fascist (hereafter ‘SF’). There, I’ve said it. The purgatory of the weekly shop has the power to transform me in seconds from my usual, easy-going, good-humoured (hah!) self into an intolerant, clench-jawed, white-knuckled Sweary Mary, chanting my mantra, ‘Ihatethisbloodyplace Ihatethisbloodyplace’ under my breath as I battle through the bovine hordes (sorry, I mean my fellow-shoppers). So I thought I’d share with you my Top Tips for making the supermarket experience as hellish as possible for SFs like me:
1. Get the stance right. Gob hanging open, slouched with elbows on the trolley handle and moving at Dead March pace (preferably two abreast with a mate to prevent overtaking). Simple, but with amazing power to infuriate – you can practically hear the SFs thinking, ‘For God’s sake stand up straight and get a bloody move on.’
2. Don’t look where you’re going. Cultivating the spatial awareness of a chemical toilet is as satisfying as driving a car blindfold. Suddenly change direction, make random emergency stops, broadside your trolley across the aisle and enjoy the clash and muted swearing as SFs cannon into each other behind you. Or ram them – never underestimate the bruising and gouging power of the average supermarket trolley – extra points if you succeed in drawing blood (easier in summer when the SFs are out in shorts and sandals).
3. Take baby. Never leave your partner at home babysitting and do the shopping alone. The ear-splitting, ultrasonic squeals of over-excited infants, the deafening tantrums of toddlers denied their blue fizzy pop, sugar-coated choc-dipped novelty cereal or other E-number-enriched tooth-decayers liven the place up no end.
4. Better still, take the whole family. A herd of hyperactive 8-year-olds constantly demanding, ‘CanIhave canIhave’, a couple of slack-jawed teens plugged into IPods and Blackberries, Gran on her mobility scooter, a lost-looking Grand-dad to stand in the way… fun for all, and guaranteed to send the SFs blood-pressure soaring. (For best results, stoke the youngsters up well on PopTarts and blue fizzy pop before you come out).
5. Congregate. Supermarkets are the perfect place to meet your chums and catch up on the latest gossip. Pick a busy aisle (bread and fruit/veg are reliable choices), or better still, the doorway, and settle down for a nice long natter. Remember to broadside those trolleys!
6. Buy clothes. Kit out your entire family for a fortnight’s holiday and pay for it all at the grocery checkouts, never the clothing department. Watch smugly as the assistant carefully de-hangers, folds and bags every item while the tutting, eye-rolling queue of SFs builds behind you.
7. Hang on to your cash. Never, but NEVER get your purse/wallet ready while the previous shopper goes through the till. Wait until all your goods are bagged than pat yourself down, search every compartment of your handbag then ‘realise’ you left it in one of the carriers… but you can’t remember which. Fumble through every bag of shopping, smiling apologetically at the long line of red-faced SFs just itching to bitch-slap you.
8. Prolong the agony. Have a nice chat with the checkout assistant while you dither about loading and re-arranging bags in your trolley, then move off VERY SLOWLY.
Following these few simple rules will greatly enhance your shopping experience, especially if you drive an an SF to tears, heart attack or fit of apoplexy. Guidance for supermarket employees will follow in a future blog.