Thursday, 14 July 2016
Saturday, 30 October 2010
On reflection would have liked to have added a penguin into the mix,
I like penguins. End of.
(article by Michael Holden)
By giving us what we thought we wanted whenever we wanted it, supermarkets have bred a reciprocal brand of super anxiety. Listen closely, and the aisles hum with a discontent peculiar to the resentment of dreams fulfilled. Down by the fresh meat fridges, I found two men bemoaning the very air that they breathed.
Man 1 (sifting through the giblets) "It's cold in here."
Man 2 "Colder than it used to be?"
Man 1 "For sure. You come in here in summer with a T-shirt on and you have to run round, get out before your core temperature plummets down."
Man 2 (pulling at his ears) "I can feel it in my ears. My ears are cold. That never used to happen."
Man 1 "It's just daft. Think about the energy."
Man 2 "It's unpleasant, is what it is. Maybe it's to keep you moving. Get you in and get you out. Like the fucking Crystal Maze.
Man 1 "On ice."
Man 2 "Exactly!"
Man 1 "It's gotta be a preservation thing. They fly this stuff in from wherever the fuck – Argentina – everybody hates that. So they have to keep it as long as possible, drop the temperature of the whole store."
Man 2 "That can't be good."
Man 1 "It's like I said: the energy."
Man 2 (grabbing a lump of meat and reckoning its heft as though he might use it as a weapon) "It all comes down to energy."
Man 1 "We should go somewhere else."
Man 2 (holding the joint at eye level and staring directly at it, Hamlet-style) "There isn't anywhere else though, is there?"
Man 1 "Not that I know of. Not round here."
Saturday, 1 May 2010
(Article by Michael Holden)
Perhaps it's an an economic thing, but these days I'm seeing a lot of people freaking out in shops. The latest was in a supermarket where a man was being pushed to the edge by the store's layout.
Man (waving list in anger) "I don't get it!"
Woman (sensing danger) "Don't get upset. I'll ask someone."
She gazed about for assistance, but he spotted someone first.
Man (shouting) "Eh, you! Where's your cheese."
Assistant (shuffling over) "Eh?"
Man (still agitated) "Where are you keeping the cheese?"
Woman (over-polite, overcompensating) "We would like some cheese."
Assistant (pointing to the faraway end of the aisle) "Cheese is down there."
Man (pointing up at a sign) "Well how come it doesn't say so?"
He had a point: the sign said "Butters, Spreads, Fresh Fruit Juice, Yoghurts" – no mention of cheese. The assistant shrugged and turned away, which proved too much for the man, who pulled him back by the shoulder.
Man "Why can't you be more upfront about your cheese? Why you trying to bluff us?"
Assistant (recoiling) "You want me to get a team leader?"
Woman "No, that's OK. I'm sorry. It's not your fault."
There was a moment of silent reconciliation between the three, but as the assistant went to walk away, the man looked back at his list and called after him.
Man "Hey, where are the eggs?"
I know from bitter experience that the eggs fall under "Home Baking", so I fled before things flared up again.
Saturday, 23 January 2010
(article by Michael Holden)
Struggling for ways to kill time in cold weather, I went to the pictures in the middle of the day, alone. Judging by the composition of the crowd this was a reasonably popular option – there were about a dozen people there, mostly alone, but there was a pair of blokes in front of me who spoke loudly to one another during the time between when the film was advertised to start and when it actually began.
Man 1 (With a mixture of pride and disbelief) "I hadn't been to the supermarket in over a year."
Man 2 (admiringly) "What, she goes? "
Man 1 "Yeah, she goes and I pay for it."
Man 2 "Fair enough."
Man 1 "Yeah, but I felt a bit guilty. I mean, it's not hard. I actually quite like supermarkets, if they're not too busy. So I said I'd go with her, which turned out to be a mistake."
Man 2 "How so?"
Man 1 "Well I went in quite optimistic thinking, here I am, taking part in something – doing my bit and all the rest of it. But it all went sour when I started bringing stuff to the trolley."
Man 2 (anxious) "Like what, what do you mean?"
Man 1 "Oh, it's all the wrong mushrooms and 'get the ones that are on offer'. I like to roam free in these places, but she has a whole system of how you go about it. You start roaming, going off the map and the whole thing breaks down. There's no scope for innovation. It's a proper regime."
Man 2 "So what happened?"
Man 1 "Well I shut up, didn't I?"
Man 2 "You going back?"
Man 1 "No, we had it right the first time. You're better off alone."