For me a trip to the supermarket is fraught with danger and fear. Apart from the fact that I am taking a massive risk that there is actually money in my account to buy the stuff I want there is the torturous endgame as I stare blankly at the card reader desperately trying to remember what my four digit pin number is. Thank goodness for the invention of contactless, although that means I can only go up to £29.99. This results in me going in and out at least 3 times if it’s a big shop. “Back again so soon?” says the increasingly suspicious Checkout Assistant. Having worked in retail I can see that he is one trip away from sending out a tannoy announcement across the shop floor asking if “Mr Hughes can come to the checkouts”. Like Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects, there is no “Mr Hughes”, it is in fact code for all available staff members and the security guard to get down to the front of the store pronto as the may have a possible fraud going on. That is, of course, if I actually get to the checkouts. Let me tell you why.
The first problem I have is the trolley selection. How much do I want? I’ve made sure that I’m not going into the shop hungry as psychologists say that you buy more than you need as you are literally surrounded by food. Selecting a medium one I then haul the huge amounts of “bags for life” that I have accrued since the bag tax into it so there is barely any room for my purchases. I’m just glad I remembered them this time. I then enter the throng. There is no decorum or rules with trolleys it seems. My main fear is if I get the crushing pain of a child size trolley cannoning into my knees felling me with all the strength and skill of a Canadian lumberjack. Some parents, in an unwise attempt to keep little Ossian occupied, have elected to let him push his own mini one around. Luckily these ones have Buggy whips on them like the ones at https://wisuk.co.uk/buggy-whip and you can spot the trainee consumers and take action.
The promotional ends also play with my mind. They taunt me with offers of buy 2 get the third free or half price. Do I need 3 packets of Viennese Whirls? Head says no but my stomach says yes. The two embark on a negotiation process the likes of which only the United Nations could appreciate until after a sudden veto from the finance department we all decide against it. I’ll just get some Muffins instead.