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Where do you shop?
5:46pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in BARRIE HUDSON TAKING A SIDEWAYS LOOK AT LIFE
Taking a sideways look at life
THERE’S a plan to open a shiny new supermarket in a forthcoming Swindon housing development called Middle Wichel.
Before the details are finalised, I’m going to write to whoever’s in charge with a suggestion I’ve been formulating for many years. I’m convinced my strategy will produce record profits for any supermarket firm with the courage to take it on board.
It’s simple: instead of building one big supermarket, build several identical smaller supermarkets side by side on the same site, each catering to a different section of typical supermarket clientele.
One of these smaller supermarkets should be called Do Your Shopping Mart. This would be for those of us who think supermarkets are places where we should choose a trolley, walk among the aisles, select items from our shopping lists or which simply take our fancy, pay at the checkout and leave, all without delaying or inconveniencing anybody else.
Next door to this small supermarket I’d have another one called Standing Around In Great Stupid Clumps Of Stupid Mart. This would be for people who think supermarket aisles are for blocking with trolleys.
Perhaps they’re talking with friends, these people, or perhaps their brains become overloaded with the demands of walking, breathing and blinking at the same time and shut down.
Perhaps they have a weird compulsion to stop and gaze, drooling vacantly, at something for hours on end, be it broccoli or a tin of spaghetti hoops, as if that thing is a repository for all the hidden knowledge in the universe. Whatever the reason, they’ll have an entire supermarket to themselves.
There should also be a supermarket called Have a Domestic Mart, where warring couples would have complete freedom to scream every sordid detail of each other’s infidelities, drunkenness, substance abuse and other failings without offending normal people or having cause to start a fight after inquiring: “’Oo you lookin’ at?”
This supermarket would be next to Slap the Kids Mart, for people who don’t realise that inflicting pain on an already unhappy child is seldom a good way to make that child stop crying.
Another little supermarket, Eco-Smug Mart, would be for people who like to be conspicuous about consuming only healthy and ethically flawless produce, but who don’t like the occasional slap round the chops that comes from being so utterly unbearable.
This would be next to Who the Hell Do You Think You’re Kidding, Porky? Mart. There, people of considerable bulk would be free to arrive at the checkout with two dozen big cakes, a quarter of a ton of chocolate, a crate of crisps and a single, lonely, low-fat cereal bar without anybody sniggering.
People who Smell Mart, meanwhile, would be aimed at folk who think nothing of wandering a confined public space in spite of not having bathed since some time before the Jubilee – the Silver Jubilee – and stinking like a graverobbers’ convention.
No more would the rest of us have to hold our breath as the People who Smell made their way among the shelves and caused the veg to shrivel, the flowers to wilt, the cans to burst and the newspapers and magazines to spontaneously combust.