THERE’S something about a supermarket that brings out the ‘odd’ in me? Ever since I watched a documentary on how supermarkets influence our shopping, my shopping experience has been tainted.
From the moment I arrive, I wonder am I being bombarded subliminally, by unheard whispers commanding me to ‘buy this’.
But I’m no fool. I understand product placement and the science behind the displays, so each time I go shopping for only a few items, I am determined to beat the system.
How can I take on the might of those supermarkets and their years of studying human psychology?
The answer is simple... I don’t take a bag. Yes, without a bag I cannot buy extras, especially extras I do not need.
Unfortunately, I’m only human and have recently been on a major losing streak. One day last week I decided enough was enough, I would shop and I would win.
Setting out I checked the grocery list in my head once more. Satisfied I only required three items, soup, bread, and carrots, I squared my shoulders and with a deep breath stepped through the welcoming doors of our local supermarket.
A less prepared individual might be fooled by the convenient placement of trolleys and baskets. But not I. A basket would lead to temptation.
First hurdle completed; next the vegetable department. For a moment I weakened... fresh strawberries, how lovely with ice cream. Just one punnet? Two were almost cheaper?
Showing a tremendous strength of character, I pulled my hand away moments before it was too late and grabbed a few carrots instead.
I was almost clear when I spotted the potatoes. I’d forgotten to put them on the list. Not to worry, I’d manage four items.
A little disappointed that my two hands were now full, and I was only in veg section, I quickened my step towards the bread. Looking neither right nor left, I squashed a loaf under my arm.
Almost finished. As soup is in the Antarctic department, I’d no inclination to linger.
Struggling with my load, off I headed to the checkout. Mission accomplished.
Unfortunately, by the time I’d journeyed from soup to till, I’d picked up flour, jam, and a cake. I tried carrying everything stacked like a tower, but it was too dodgy so my jumper served as a basket.
“Would you like a bag?” Ms Pleasant asked at the till, but all I heard was “Can we take another 70c off you?”
“No thank you, I’ll manage.”
After paying I discovered that no matter what combination I tried, I’d bought one item too many to carry. A queue was forming, waiting for me to leave. Just as I was about to give up I cracked it.
With potatoes and cake in each hand, I squeezed the soup and carrots under one arm and the jam and bread under the other. Bingo.
A mere two steps later the carrots began their escape, closely followed by the squashed almost flat bread. I squeezed tight, but gravity always wins.
Soup, carrots, jam and bread hit the floor with a mighty bang. The jam shattered, and the soup exploded, travelling quite a distance.
“Oh no! I’m so sorry,” I said to all in the firing line, especially the lady with soup on her tights.
A young employee approached and told me he’d clean it up. I stepped away from the oozing puddle of glass, jam and soup.
As I did so a shop assistant took the potatoes and cake from me, kindly placing them in a basket.
“Here you go,” he smiled.
Defeated, I turned back to replace the items, filled my basket with even more I didn’t want and paid for a bag to carry it all home.
But I live to fight another day.
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