Who knew going to the supermarket could be so eventful and full of experiences worth writing about?!! I guess all you need is a Coronavirus pandemic, stupid and oblivious people and my current mood! Or perhaps my writing about it is just my form of self therapy?
Regardless, I’ll tell you about it. I’m guessing you have some sweet, self isolation time up your sleeve, possibly a wine or something stronger in hand (no matter what time of day you read this) and are looking for a task to ‘better yourself’, to learn, to regenerate your character and come out the other side a better person!
Let me tell you, this post won’t really help you there!
I went to the local supermarket where you can park underneath then use the travelator to reach ground level. Right next to the travelator a hand sanitiser pump is provided. I waited for the couple in front of me to use it then took my turn.
Then, as we started up the travelling walkway, the couple both proceeded to hold the hand rail. Yep. Really. At least their little hands were sanitised for a good four and a half seconds!
If you don’t appreciate my cynicism, you may as well stop reading now. Otherwise, come with me. Come in to a world of ignorance, selfishness and tracksuit pant, oily hair wearing stupidity.
My first stop was the chemist. Amid the temporary ‘IN’ and ‘OUT’ lane markings I had to line up to go in. I was greeted by a staff member wearing a mask, glasses, gloves and wielding a thermometer.
I smiled and said ‘hi’.
She just pointed to 3 gallon hand sanitiser for me to use then proceeded to take my temperature. All the while she was asking me questions about my whereabouts, my relationships, my wellness.
At least I THINK that’s what she was asking. I couldn’t really understand her from behind her mask. I just kept saying ‘NO’. I figured that was the safest answer these days. And I am not at high risk of having had coronavirus in my system . I hadn’t even touched the hand rail on my way up the travelator.
I had to carry a card with a number on it and move along the marked lane through the chemist. It was very quiet. Everyone too scared to look at anyone. It felt like a calm before an apocalyptic storm.
When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, another masked staff member asked me if I needed help.
I was too nervous to walk the wrong way or pass other customers too closely so I just yelled out ‘I NEED SOME LICE TREATMENT PLEASE’.
Crickets……AAALLL eyes on ME!!!
She just pointed.
I wanted to go on and explain that it wasn’t for me with my long, loose flowing hair but it was for one of my children, as a precaution…..but I just smiled and said ‘thank you’.
I proceeded to the cashier who was surrounded by perspex panelling, gloved and masked and I returned my card with the number . I said with a giggle, ‘It’s like getting in to a night club isn’t it!’.
She didn’t think I was funny.
I proceeded to the supermarket, my parents’ list in hand. The wiping down of the trolley is in itself a bit of a procedure but I didn’t use the time to crack another joke. It was too soon….I just wiped and went.
Shopping for someone else is somewhat stressful compared to your immediate family. You don’t know how cheap or expensive to go, which brands and just HOW MANY apples do you want?
But I was ready. I was determined to not let this ‘new normal’ get to me. I was armed with….well nothing really except common sense and a smile should anyone actually look at me.
I followed the huge blue arrows around the aisles and stood on the crosses when necessary.
While I like to joke sometimes ,I DO understand that these measures are definitely called for and until most of us follow them, the virus has the possibility to reach my high risk parents- so YES, I do travel in the right direction and keep my distance from other folk.
But the simple task of going to the supermarket really makes me question the basic intelligence of the human race. It really does.
Quite a number of people think they are much more deserved to travel AGAINST the flow of trolleys. They can go wherever the hell they like and then proceed to give ME the dirty looks. If they were with me in the chemist I can understand but otherwise? You people suck.
Shopping for someone else requires a lot of back tracking when desired ingredients are missed. So I did many loop the loops with my trolley but ALWAYS in the right direction. People would have started to recognise me- if they looked at me.
On a good note, while repeating a loop and aisle I’d already been down, I managed to find Rosella mustard pickles!!!
Forget my degree in Medical Radiations, my personal training certificates and the fact I’ve given birth to triplets plus one- I FOUND THE MUSTARD PICKLES MUM HAD BEEN ASKING FOR FOR WEEKS!!! FYI, they are NOT in the ‘pickle section’ of the supermarket and ‘no’ I don’t ask for directions or food items. I like the accomplishment of finding them myself.
Mumma gonna be PROUD!
My self congratulating, ecstatic moment was short lived. There was still no toilet paper. Seriously. I get it, I get it. People are worried and fearing the uncertainty of our future and the safety of their families but surely everyone’s stocked up by now?
I looped again to see various characters, many different forms of protection and an array of stupid-fuelled behaviour.
Some wore gloves but then proceeded to scratch their face, put their finger in their ears and touch every apple they glanced at. Idiots.
I felt for the little old Italian lady with a mask and gloves on and her old-school trolley, searching for the pasta she so loved.
I later saw her with her gloves off and pinching almonds out of the bins of nibbles. She was obviously OK and nicked food like my grandma used to. Unashamedly chewing as she made her way to the checkout.
I saw one girl with two fruit and veg plastic bags over her hands. It made her phone call difficult and picking up cans a bit tricky too. Oblivious to her social distancing. Clearly she was doing OK in ‘her’ world too….
I’d be looking out for her coming at me in the next aisle! Probably twice over with all the loops I was doing (at least I didn’t have to look for Rosella Mustard Pickles any more. Champion.)
Amongst the Easter marketing in your face, even though I don’t think anyone really feels ‘Eastery’ I was about to upset the apple cart as they say.
I felt it coming but I just couldn’t contain it. I’m sorry. I HAD to sneeze. I threw my head into my elbow like a true ‘dabber’ but out it came, nice and loud! I get hay fever you know!
Those damn crickets again…..Yep- all eyes on me.
Just to finish off the moment, Whitney Houston started blaring out ‘and I_I_I_I_IIIIIIIeeeeeI WWWiill always LOVE EEEYEOUOUOUOU’.
This song was closely followed by Jason Donavan.
Seriously. What’s next? Rick Astley? That would complete the nightmare.
At each checkout is a BIG sign that explains that each customer should wait until they are called closer, giving the cashier time to disinfect the conveyor belt and change his or her gloves.
I stood on my cross. Not even venturing forward to grab a magazine with a royal somebody or Chris Hemsworth on the front. On. My .Cross.
I was called forward. This girl did NOT wear a mask so I quickly tried to think of a light hearted joke to brighten the mood…..at least I would understand her reaction without a mask covering her…
Meanwhile, the man behind me proceeded to push all my items forward, load his gear up and stand 20cm away from me. YOU- fella are a MORON.
I bet he also walked down the aisle the wrong direction, picked his nose with his gloves on and grabbed a handful of nibbles while singing to Whitney Houston. Dickhead.
I returned my shopping to the sexy family mover van and had to return to the very quiet, lice infested chemist.
I’d since had a phone call from the thirteen year old son who was nearly frothing at the mouth at the thought of his year 8 vaccinations he was getting the next day. I was going to buy some numbing cream.
Again, I couldn’t understand the same questions, kept saying ‘no’ , had exactly the same temperature and took a numbered card. I expected a stamp on my wrist like all the popular night clubs used to give you.
(And I understand the need for these procedures. It’s to help us steer clear from all the idiots, morons and dickheads who were just in the supermarket.)
Going through my head- ‘don’t make jokes, don’t make jokes, don’t make jokes.’
I reached the pharmacist who asked if they could assist me.
I said ‘I’d just like some numbing cream please.’
They asked ‘is it for yourself?’
‘Oh NO’ I said, ‘ it’s for a scaredy cat getting vaccinations for about four different diseases’.
Tumbleweed. No one laughed. ‘Don’t make a joke, don’t make a joke, don’t make a joke.’
I may as well have said ‘I NEED A LICE TREATMENT’ again. Same reaction.
AAH where’s the ‘doof doof’ of a nightclub when you need it?!
On another kind of good note, I did NOT stop at the hair dyeing products nor the eyebrow pencils. I refuse to go down that avenue at this stage of a pandemic. It will come, I’m sure. I’ll dye my hair and try and shape my own eyebrows but NOT YET DAMMIT!!
I bought the ‘nummit’ in silence. ‘Don’t make jokes’.
I returned to the car quite exhausted. I was glad to leave the oblivion, the lack of simple intelligence, the non ‘Eastery’ vibe, the empty toilet paper rack and the air of stupidity behind.
In the end? I made Mum’s day with a jar of mustard pickles and I made Dad’s day with another tub of ice cream when I delivered their food.
It’s the simple things they say……in all respects.
PS- I will pay you for toilet paper if you find it. Actual.