Sunday, 8 April 2007

Shop 'Til You Drop


I DID my weekly grocery shop on Thursday. That's Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, when most shops close. The shops were all open again on Saturday, of course. So why were we shoppers all rushing around like headless chickens as if rationing was just around the corner?
I was in one of those superstores where by the time you've walked from entrance to check-out you've expended the same amount of energy as if you had just completed an Ironman Triathlon. You'd think I'd be fitter.
You'd think.
Knowing that I couldn't buy an emergency tin of baked beans on Friday brought me out in a cold sweat. I felt a sudden urge to bulk buy and piled the trolley with bargain packs of fruit and veg. I stared at it, realising that if the dearly beloved and I started eating on Good Friday and didn't stop until Christmas Eve we would still have 3lbs of bananas and half a dozen packets of French bistro-style salads left over (French bistro, apparently, meaning it's got baby spinach and raw strips beetroot in it - not totally sure the French would approve). I then thought of all the starving children in the world and put it back again.
Cans of food were a different proposition. Cans keep for ever, practically. I still have a tin of kidney beans in my store cupboard that I bought in 1975.
I scooped up all the bargain six-packs of everything from apricots to zucchini. I know the world is sometimes a perilous place but I don't think there's likely to be a siege of Mafeking proportions any time soon.
But if there is, I'm ready for it.
While reaching for a catering (catering for the Household Cavalry and all their relatives) size box of cornflakes, I caught the eye of a woman whose small child was perched like Hillary on the summit of Everest on top of several large cartons of soap powder and fabric softener. She smiled sheepishly and muttered something about washing sports kit. Who for, for God's sake? All few thousand footballers registered in the Nationwide Conference?
I finally made it through the check-out to the car. By the time I finished loading up it looked like those cars you see on TV documentaries - the ones in places like India with live pigs and chickens vying for space with the mother-in-law.
On Good Friday the dearly beloved asked me if I had any hot-cross buns.
No I didn't.
But never mind, I've finally found something to do with that 1975 can of kidney beans. His eyes haven't stopped watering yet.

6 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

It's the old human hunter-gatherer instinct at work. Men do the hunting and women do the gathering. Throwing projectiles at males who dare to criticize your gathering skills is more of a female gorilla instinct. You'd be welcome to join my harem.

Lori said...

I am enjoying checking out your blog, and want to thank you again for commenting in my AOL Journal. What do you do at the newspaper where you work? I used to work for a small weekly newspaper right before I was married.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Hello Lori - I'm a sub-editor for a group of weekly newspapers. I started out as a reporter, more years ago than I care to remember! It's a great job and I've never tired of all that minutiae of local life, although I must admit to occasionally harbouring murderous thoughts when I have to deal with my 20th Women's Institute report of the day!

Akelamalu said...

This made me LOL at myself. I recently sent MWM out to Asda because they had an offer on Tuna. 12 tins for £4.00 I just had to have them - OK so I already have 6 tins in the cupboard but you can never have enough Tuna!

The thinker said...

I just wondered about your motto 'never eat more than you can lift'. Is this a day's ration or a weeks? I just ask as I've weighed the shopping I carried in today and it weighs in at 4 stone. I didn't know I was a weightlifter! No wonder I'm cream crackered after shopping.

River said...

I usually check the supplies and if I have enough foods and milk to make it through a closed shops day, I'm good. but Maybe that soap powder woman is like me. In early January each year, I buy enough kitchen and laundry detergents, plus fabric softener, to last me the entire year. It's all stashed in a cupboard out on the back porch. With the years supply of bath soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and toothbrushes.