I’m taking time out from my NaNo novel trail blazing to bring you this special account of my outing into the ‘real world’, where strange and magical things happen in the hallowed aisles of the supermarket.
Oh, I felt so compelled to share my experiences I wandered around the shopping centre writing notes as I went, accumulating funny looks along the way. Yes, texting while walking is perfectly acceptable, writing in a notebook, oh ho ho ho. I’m here to shock and amaze people, this is my purpose on this planet.
Any who, my first notation. A young person buying alcohol is much less conspicuous if purchasing Healthy Start cereal and 100% pure organic coconut water along with her alcoholic purchase. Much less likely to get carded than the tall, blond, young person buying only a bottle of vodka in front of her. Much more likely to be told ‘Oh, yes, I’ve had that cider last night, it was really nice!’, like she is just another fellow middle aged lady, who spends nights alone with her cat, watching Dancing with the Stars and sampling new, fancy flavours of imported cider. So am I old, or have a I just discovered a new fool proof way for underage people to buy alcohol?
Second notation. Closing times in cafes should be clearer. Because they lie, they are straight out liars, people. 9am – 3pm in not accurate. It should be more like 9am – 1:30 we are perfectly happy to serve you, 1:30pm – 2pm we are still happy to serve you, but with every minute encroaching upon kitchen close time we become more and more begrudging towards you. 2pm kitchen closes! Do they mention that on the opening hours? Nah. 2pm-3pm, we want to seem like we have flexible opening hours, but really we’re trying to cram in closing down within this hour so we don’t have to pay our staff overtime, and they can get home before 5pm on a Saturday so they can get ready for whatever social event they had planned, technically you can stay, but we will just casually begin to clean around you, gradually making you feel more and more uncomfortable until you down your tea, ruining your previous tea-induced relaxation, now making you feel all stomach swishingly, overflowing with tea. So why don’t they just do this – 9am – 1:30pm (please feel free and welcome to order your lunch) 1:30pm – 2pm (please only order beverages, but finish them before 2:30pm) 2:30pm – 3pm (get the fuck out).
Third notation. Lines at supermarket cash registers leave me flustered, and brain dead. Which is the shortest one? Self service or normal or express lane? Where the fuck is the express lane?
‘There’s no-one at the express lane,’ some lady attendant says, seemingly annoyed that people are lining up at self service, like it is personally ruining her whole life.
‘I thought this was the express lane,’ I reply, like a bubble headed loon.
‘No, it’s down the end.’
Wellity, wellity, wellity. Maybe no-one’s there because it’s in some obscure, hidden place behind tens of thousands of other unused express cash registers. The rather creepy ghosts of ruthless Supermarket job cut backs, in favour of machines who always get upset if I use my own bags. ‘Unexpected item in bagging area’. I’ll give you an unexpected item, my fist in your face!
Anyways, ‘Thanks,’ replies the ever polite and genial me.
Oo, the register attendant is kind of cute. Did that Lady tell everyone the express lane was empty? These people just seemed to swarm in like flies onto fresh dog shit. But I’m here now. I’ll feel silly if I line up for the third time. Hey, this register guy has really awesome glasses, they look expensive, they make him look like a hipster. Wow, he actually asked me how my day was going. I now bet he has instantly regretted it. I’m babbling I can tell. I make some remark about how everyone was sent here at the same time. I try and give him some change with my fifty so I can get notes back. Oh no. Too much pressure. I can’t add. Why can’t I add? For the love of god why do you escape me now simple maths?! Why?! The humanity! Escape! Just take your odd change and escape.
‘Well that didn’t work,’ I casually remark.
‘Yeah, I was wondering why you gave this to me…’
Walking away, wow do I feel stupid. Hmm, I think, I’ll just write about it in my blog to make myself feel better that I’m such a spaz. You see I do this deliberately for writing material.
Last notation. I should walk around the shopping centre writing shit down more often. I look like a crazy, genius writer person, whose ideas are too fabulous and awesome to be forgotten to the winds of time and a poor short term memory. They must be written down immediately! Also, shopping centre toilet cubicles are strangely inspiring.