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Monday, September 29, 2003

Shopping-based rants

Going out to the shops at lunchtime always seems like a good idea. "Hmmmm" you think, "I'll run a few errands, do a few chores, and maybe have a little browse..."

Yeah right...

If only the "other people" would just p*ss off, it would be great. By "other people", I'm talking about the people who have all day to go to the shops, yet choose to do so whilst I am on my (very limited) lunch break. The kind of people who stand in front of a rack of shampoos, looking pensive, and at the very moment you pass behind them to access the hair mousse section (for example), they decide to step backwards into your path, without looking. The kind of families who walk seven abreast (even if there are only two of them), very slowly, and form a kind of organic moving barrier to prevent you proceeding from one place to another. The kind of people who stop suddenly right in front of you, with no warning, whilst you are hastily trying to get back to the office on time.

My sister and I came up with a solution which we choose to call the "lunchtime curfew". Here's how it would work. At 12pm, a siren would go off in City Centres. This would indicate to the "leisure people" who wear "leisure wear" (i.e. people who are not in gainful employment and thus do not have such a limited "window of opportunity" for shop-based activities) that they should proceed in an orderly fashion to the nearest "council" food outlet for lunch (e.g. MacDonalds, ASDA "restaurant", one of those bakery-cum-cafés for our senior citizens or any mall-based food court). There they should stay until, say, 2pm. This would enable the mass of office workers on their lunch break to go about their multifarious chores quickly and efficiently, without having to do battle with a sea of shell-suits, snot-covered pre-schoolers and tartan shopping trolleys. The curfew would also apply to the be-clipboarded wastrels who inhabit our high streets with their talk of low quality shopping catalogues.

Now, I realise this scheme could be construed as, let's say, erm... radical. I prefer to see it as a pragmatic solution to a modern problem. Or something...



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