Monday, 14 January 2008

Shopping can be fun

I'm worried people are losing out.

Apparently, and I've yet to try this myself, you can get other people to do your supermarket shopping for you. You pay your selected superstore a fiver or so and then send them your shopping list. They then scuttle around bumping their trolley into the backs of people's ankles and forget the milk, causing a major incident attempting to negotiate against the flow of traffic, before loading it up and delivering it to your house. (There is of course the whole shouldn't we be supporting local shops? But I'll save that for another day.)

Anyhow - what I'm worried about is that if you do decide to go down the whole supermarket route and you hire the services of a personal shopper - you're missing out on all the fun. And what splendid fun it is.

The fun starts as soon as you enter the fruit and veg section. Now as everyone knows all the best veg is kept at least three layers below what's currently on show. You'll regularly see the more seasoned shopper check the coast is clear before peeling back two layers of parsnips to get to the stuff that looks as though it has a fighting chance of getting home before shrivelling up. All it takes is one person to do it and then everyone's at it. Just like the biscuit selection box at Christmas.

Next is the well known shopping fact the freshest stuff is always at the back of the shelf. Why supermarkets still bother shuffling the packets around is beyond me. To be honest if they want to get rid of the old stuff they should now stick that at the back as that's where everyone is grabbing first. The only people taking anything from the front are those under 5'2".

Then it's the random placement of objects around the superstore game. I was in the DVD section of my local supermarket at the weekend and amongst the DVD's was a packet of ham. Now clearly the shopper who placed it there had had a change of mind or simply realised a packet of ham could only provide somewhat limited entertainment on a Saturday night. Mind you given the choice of watching four slices of honey smoked ham or Liz Hurley's new flick for two hours it's a close run thing. My favourite misplaced item of all time was the genius who mid curry section had placed a packet of four loo rolls.

Now that's what I call forward planning.

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Jon Cuthill is a presenter on BBC Radio Solent. You can listen to him every weekday from 9am-12.30pm, or listen again online at his website.

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