My friend Floraborealis with the Floating Kneecaps who is a very well organised and discerning shopper, told me last week, to get down hot foot to the Hyper where there were some bargains to be found in the casks of wine section and the kitty kat section.
So with the lure of the grape whetting my shopping appetite, off I went, straight from the tennis court after a genteel game of tennis, purse clutched firmly under my sweaty armpit, cheque book to be used instead of having to carry a briefcase full of those interesting little red coloured notes, and I merrily made my way down the aisles looking for the cat food (and the wine of course !!)
I noted with a certain amount of depression that there must have been twenty tons of neatly stacked packets of rice of all varieties, packed where the roller meal used to live........rows of dried capenta where the bottles of oil used to live, tins of baked beans where the sugar used to be piled, and packets of biscuits where the flour used to be displayed.
The bread queue wound its patient way round the display of gaudy Marie Antoinette cakes, festooned with bright pink icing, and disappeared out the door, like a silent snake waiting to strike the first politician that came into sight.
I spied a few items that were lacking in my usually salubrious neighbourhood supermarket, and piled them in my trolly with gay abandon.
I must confess that I never stop hoping that he Who Must Be Obeyed will notice my housewifely shopping prowess instead of the prettily set bridge table for that afternoon's entertainment !!
Into the basket went tins of tuna (for this week's Max Planck Institute Diet), at $300 odd dollars a tin (the old price I noticed with a flash of incredible perception) and frantically emptied the shelf, so you are too late if you go there cos I got them all. The new price is $700 by the way !!
Into the trolly went boxes of Whiskas which my cat eats by the ton, (I am sure they put some sort of kitty drug in them to make them eat Whiskas and only Whiskas, which cost considerably more than He Who Must Be Obeyed's favourite green and gold beer !!.) But I think I would rather cross HWMBO than cross my Kitty anyday !!
Then I chanced upon some herbs and spices at the old price and so on and so forth.........
However I soon began to look rather conspicuous in that particular shopping environment............
As my shopping frenzy developed (and I had not even reached the wine department yet ), I began to notice the sidelong glances I was receiving from the other shoppers.
I had the only trolly in the place, piled high with exciting bargains, but everyone else had a small basket, and inside each basket was an incredibly small array of goods.
Teeny weeny packets of capenta, miniscule packets of no name brand washing powder, itsy bitsy packets with something that looked suspiciously like chicken necks, packets of margarine the size of a matchbox, and tiny packets of biscuits as a substitute for bread.
Feeling humble and embarrassed at my Capitalistic display, I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and I would creep away from this sad little shop with its poverty stricken clientele in which thank God, I was a total misfit.
I probably would have abandoned the trolly had it not been for the tins of tuna and Max Planck, so instead I hurried to the furthest till, behind a convenient pillar, away from the seething hungry eyes.
I magnanimously waved through several shoppers with one or two items, but then realised that the entire shop was full of folk with only one or two items, so bent my head and started to first unload four giant bags of dog cubes (locally made I hasten to tell you) at over $4000 each.
A shameful blush crept its way up my chest and across my neck, as I tried not to catch the eye of these kindly folk who gaped in curiosity at my purchases and assisted me by unloading my trolly which was fit to bursting.
By now my head was also fit to bursting, an emaciated old man told me as his eyes roved, quite without malice, over the array of goods, that he had read in the paper that a White Farmer had been feeding his pigs with roller meal, and had put some unpleasant additive in it to stop his labour from purloining it.
I bent my head lower and mumbled at him not to believe everything he read in the chronicle, but he said he had heard it on the TV news, so I shut up and prayed for the floor to open up and swallow me. Even an earthquake would have been welcome at that moment. Maybe I should feign a heart attack and ask them to send for a Mars ambulance to take me away from this horrifying and heartbreaking debacle in which I had put myself.
Just my luck to find a till that would not ring up anything with more than 3 figures.
$500+$500+$500+$500+$500+$500+ $500+$500+ plus $46.00 ground the till operator, happily unaware of my acute distress, $500+$500+$500+$500+$500+ $500+$500+$500+ plus $46.00 (and now we had only managed to pass through two bags of the damn dog cubes !!)
By this time I was totally discombobulated and we had a queue of gigantic proportions growing behind till number 30, and most of them had their necks craned to see what this Bloated Plutocrat had in her shopping trolly.
And when finally all the goods had been accounted for, the sales assistant insisted I write three cheques as my cheque card would not cover all my purchases........
Have you ever tried to write your name and address and all your life history on the back of three cheques while covered in confusion, dying of shame at even being able to write a cheque of such magnificent proportions, and most of it spent on food for your canine menagerie and a diet to make you slim !!! (Thank goodness I had not reached the wine department yet )
I am sure I shall blush for the rest of my life in mortification and agony at my own crass spending and at my fellow countryman's desperate plight .
"There but for the Grace of God go I."