Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shopping and yakking

I'll know I'm finished when I join the ranks of ancients causing traffic jams at supermarket tills, post office counters, hardware stores and even bank teller windows, as they prolong the transaction with garrulous recitals of their seemingly aimless lives. It's cruel, I know, but sometimes I long to administer a good arse-kicking to these obstructive lumps in the smooth custard of daily existence.

Yes, they may be lonely, I'm sure many are -- but how can you be so lacking in self-awareness to assume the (usually expressionless) minion behind the counter gives a shit? Or fail to notice his (or her) deep and murderous look, or sense the seething tide of anger rising behind you?

And while I'm standing in this queue spewing lava, I'm wondering what is it that makes women delay doing anything about actually finding money to pay until the total is rung up. Surely, if you know you are going to have to rummage in the mysterious depths of your bag for the exact sum required, you must realise you need to set about it a bit sooner? Have you no regard for others?

I expect it's part of that curious female hunting instinct that enables women to shop for hours on end, trying on many items of clothing to no apparent purpose, accumulating awesome numbers of swag bags, tramping tirelessly around comparing prices, for god's sake. Given the option, no red-blooded male would spend even a minute on these safaris through mall land.

I never try on clothes. I pick 'em, pay and take them home; I can always flash through again if I need to find a different size. I never use a trolley in the supermarket. Baskets allow you to zip in and out of the trundling traffic, swerve round the cellphone simps asking headquarters whether they should get the "sinful" choc chip cookies or the virtuous kind (which come in bulk bags).

I can fill two or three standard shopping bags from one basket (great way to tone the biceps and forearms).

I will admit to spending hours in music and DVD stores, hifi establishments and these new glorified pawnbroker shops called things like Cash Converters or Cash Crusaders. I love to unearth a bargain bit of audio gear or find a favourite album going cheap. It's a vindication, it somehow assures me I am not abandoning meaningful life (am I?). This is not so much shopping as collecting, an activity programmed into the genes of us hunter-gatherers. This activity cannot be indulged in when accompanied by the other half. The incomprehension is total and the patience very short.


Blogger antonym said...

I suspect once they were like you too, but the years of experience have taught them total indifference to other humans.

3:02 PM  
Blogger treespotter said...

it's a women thing. They like it when everybody get an excuse to wait *behind*

12:29 AM  
Blogger hendrix said...

"This is not so much shopping as collecting, an activity programmed into the genes of us hunter-gatherers"

Funnily enough that's how most women feel about shopping.

11:43 AM  
Blogger dh said...

Excellent. You covered a few of my pet peeves there. Now I'm off to the supermarket for a chat with my favourite cashier. I'm hoping it will be busy and she's in the express line. I will make sure to only buy items with illegible barcodes.

6:51 PM  
Blogger DavetheF said...

Yes, I forgot that one. And of course there are the people who unload vast quantities of stuff on the "express" counter.

7:33 PM  
Blogger DavetheF said...

hendrix, point taken ...

7:34 PM  

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