Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Basket cases

Some months ago, Flora and I found ourselves standing by the fruit and veg in Sainsbury's adjacent to an Adonis of a man. Be still our beating hearts! Despite the fact that she is 11 and I am in my forties, we both recognised him as one of godlike looks. So we decided to follow him for a bit - like you do - the plan being that I would stand close to him being alluring while Flora would act the role of charmingly beautiful but unobtrusive child.

Having stalked him around the dairy aisles looking at things we didn't need and trying not to collapse into giggles, we lost him around dried goods. However at the checkouts we managed to stand behind him again. Oh the disappointment when we saw his selections! His was clearly the shopping of a happily married man, possibly with children; several two pint containers of milk, sanitary towels (a man who cares enough to buy his partner her STs - swoon), healthy cereal, nice smelly things for the bathroom, a range of healthy fruit. His was clearly not the life of a handsome but scuzzy bachelor in need of some TLC.

Looking in other people's baskets and guessing their lifestyle is one of my favourite supermarket pursuits. Today I stood near a rather too skinny man who had a miserable face and a basket full of Geobars and other wholesome food. He looked in need of some fun and I was tempted to rattle my cheese and onion crisps in his face with a cry of 'Go on, you know you want to'.

Who hasn't seen the corpulent family with litres and litres of coke, huge packets of crisps and lots of cakes and sweets or the person who buys very little for themselves but really pushes the boat out for their pet?

If it's so easy for me to categorise people from such a cursory basket inspection, no wonder the supermarkets do it in such a big way. Indeed this is the reason I'm quite glad I frequently forget my Nectar card or equivalent. I just know they've got me down on a computer somewhere as 'mum who buys school lunches and quick meals who is a bit of a lazy vegetarian and is allergic to milk'. They've seen the fish paste, veggie ready meals and gallons of soya milk on my receipt.

In fact I'm tempted to rush out right now and buy six pints of milk and a big joint of beef just to louse up their system, not to mention confuse those nosy types who look in other people's trollies. I mean, what sort of weirdo would do that?

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