Picture the scene: 6pm last night in my local Asda - the perfect platform to view Stupid People.
Why is it that in the height of the post-work shopping frenzy, Smug Couples decide to block the aisles with their trolleys as they gaze into eachothers eyes and discuss what to cook on Sat night when their other Smug Couple friends come round for a meal? As the blockage of people intensifies around them and they still can't see past the tunnel vision of their dewy-eyed stares at eachother, more trolleys build up, making manouevreing near impossible. When I pipe up and say Excuse Me, they don't break their gaze but move their trolley about 2" to the left. Thus rendering me still unable to get past them. They continue their discussions about Cous-Cous or organic chicken. I get and push past their trolley, bumping it out of the way. They glare nastily at me. WTF?? Can't they see that there are now four people tussling to get past them and tutting noisily under their breaths?
Next aisle and I witness the Bored Husband (BH). In typical BH pose, he leans against the trolley handle and sticks his bum out into the aisle. Considering he is already blocking it with his trolley, the Arse situation doesn't help. Meanwhile wifey is reading the labels on all the tins to check for fat content. Luckily because BHs are always alert for something remotely interesting to watch while wifey prattles on about sugar content, he notices and immediately moves with a nice "sorry".
Then we have Stupid Person who is perusing the aisles for someething but leaves her trolley about 3 metres away, right where I'm trying to get to the pasta spirals. I start to move her trolley and she dashes over as if she thinks I'm about to steal her discounted meat paste and Frosties. Again, not a word spoken.
Next aisle resembles a bloody nursery school. There's the trolley, half blocking the aisle, and there's mum sitting on the floor on the opposite side of the aisle, with two kids on her knee. They are looking at cake mixes and she's holding classes with them as to what they baked for Granny last Sunday and what colour icing was it? And what cake is this, can they read the label? And can James look around and find the candles? Well done James that's them! Meanwhile another trolley jam forms, only now I can't barge past because I may run over a child. I'm all for interactivity with mums and kids but don't bloody do it in rush hour Asda!
Then we have the Want Pester Want kids:
"Mum can I have these"
"No, you don't like them"
"But mum the advert looked really cool, I want to try them"
"No, they have 50g of sugar per 60g of food"
"BUT MUM EVERYONE EATS THEM"
*puts food in trolley anyway*
*Mum takes it out again*
"MUM JUST LET ME HAVE ONE PACK"
.... and so it goes on.
At the milk freezers we have Single Man, with his little basket of "beans for one", microwave meals, and token vegetables in case a bird comes round and he can look healthy. Trying to remember what Gillian McKeith said about soya milk and avocados, he gives up and head to the Beer Aisle.
Finally we have the Mad Trolley Drivers. They fly out of the end of an aisle and don't look nor give a toss about who is there. They just gotta MOVE outta their way or be rammed. Looking dead ahead and avoiding my laser-glare of hate as I skid to a halt and avoid hitting them, they waltz onto the next aisle, knocking grannies down en route.
At the tills I am stuck behind another Smug Couple. They coo and laugh and joke as they pack their food, excited that they are doing such a coupley thing like "shopping together". It must mean he wants to marry me! Yaaay! The checkout girl is like a robot - scan beep, scan beep, no conversation. Her glazed eyes scream "get me out of here!" as she glances at my bulging trolley with a look that says "FFS another one...". In the next aisle, kids scream and whinge for a Kinder Surprise, purposefully stacked low down in the queing area to tempt their whining.
When Smug Couple have sauntered off hand in hand in trolley, I attempt a smile and friendly conversation with Checkout Girl, to alleviate her tedium. Then I noticed that there is a lone tin of tomato soup left on the packing area by Smug Couple. "Oh they've left something", I say, fingering the tommie soup. Checkout Girl rolls her eyes and says "Oh well, I'm sure Love will see them through". Then we both crack up laughing.
Asda - an Anthropologist's dream .....