|I have a gun and know how to use it.|
I’M not averse to a little shopping - trying on shoes, finding that perfect dress or buying jumbo Toblerone, that kind of thing. But supermarket shopping is a different story. I find it hard to get excited over bargain packs of baked beans. And you won't see me with my calculator working out whether it's cheaper to buy a mammoth box of soap powder or three little ones.
Then there’s the way supermarkets make it impossible to work out the comparative prices of certain items unless you have a degree in mathematics.
I was looking at the tomatoes this week. There were loose ones, priced per kg; some in a bag, priced per lb; and others wrapped on a polystyrene tray that were priced per tomato. I presume it’s all designed to confuse the shopper so that they might accidentally pick up the dearest item.
Supermarket prices, too, go up and down all the time. You don’t know from one day to the next what price your kilo of butter will be. The government tells us inflation is at an all-time low, working it out with a supposedly representative “basket” of goods. I don’t know what the government is putting in its shopping basket - a packet of Polos, a dog lead and a book called How To Pull The Wool Over Voters’ Eyes, I should think.
They’re certainly not filling it with anything I buy regularly from the shops. Last year a big tub of butter was costing me £2, now it’s £2.39. I’d tell you what the percentage increase was if I could work it out.
I also have an unerring instinct for getting in the wrong queue. A man who’s lost his bank card? I’m in that queue. The check-out girl who finds the need to comment on every item as she scans it very slowly? I’m the one raising my eyes to heaven. A woman who’s decided she’s forgotten something and sets off at a trot to find it and is gone for ten minutes? That’s me two people back, drumming my fingers on a packet of fishfingers.
All this reminds me of a story I heard, which I’d love to be true but am pretty sure is just an urban myth.
An elderly American woman did her supermarket shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four young men about to drive off in her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun (this is America, after all) and screamed, ‘I have a gun, and I know how to use it. Get out of the car.’
The young men ran.
The woman loaded her shopping and got in the car - but she couldn’t get her key into the ignition. She glanced over her shoulder and spotted a football and two 12 packs of beer. A few minutes later, she found her own car parked a few spaces farther down. She drove to the police station to report her mistake.
The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn’t stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale young men were reporting a car-jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun.
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