Sunday, 22 December 2013

Bah Humbug 2013

Finding more reasons to shop at Morrisons, coupled with my detestation for "every little helps",  I ambled down to my local branch this morning to check out what money they could relieve me of. As well as for a spray of mist as I chose my celeriac, fennel and herbs.

Quite a surprisingly pleasant experience, apart from the other shoppers, the infernal Christmas music (covers of Christmas hits - even more infuriating) and tat, and the tattooed hordes (and that's just the women) filling their shopping baskets to groaning capacity with cheap cider, multi-pack crisps and Twiglets. Yes, roast turkey, stuffing, cheap cider, crisps and Twiglets - altogether a  very Gordon Ramsey menu.

I love the way some men (and it's nearly always the men) stand and gesticulate in a "buying an overpriced coffee and sandwich in the airport on the way to Ibiza even though they drive 12 miles to save 1p on a litre of petrol" sort of manner, as if they really don't get out much (they probably don't). You know, feet apart, hand in the air pointing to the rafters and shouting "Is this the milk you mean Christine?  I thought we had one at home in the fridge!" Maybe it's the fact the milk you have at home has now curdled, having been relegated from the fridge to make way for the previous week's cheap cider. And for god's sake, don't put the crisps and Twiglets in the fridge mate!

The quite depressing sight, taking into account the hordes that are still spending as if money is going out of fashion, were the 'pricing technicians' (= shelf stackers) wandering around the isles of Christmas goodies with their spreadsheets and pricing tickets, matching up the goods with the sale price tickets to be affixed on the store's first day's opening after Christmas - that is if they deem to give their minimum wage (Sir Ken Morrison - net worth £1billion) staff the day off over Christmas.

I noticed one "suitable electrical gift" at a retail price of £59.95 (one of which a lady plonked into her shopping trolley) that was due for a reduction to £29.95. Entering into the spirit of good shopping camaraderie and Bah Humbug, I pointed this out to her, and she sensibly replied, "Oh. Thirty quid off. He can come up and get it isself (sic) after Christmas then. Bloody thieves (presumably Morrisons and not her son). Ta love. 'Smeans (sic) I can get summit (sic) else just fer (sic) me for a change."

Good on yer girl!

And then to the checkout. An empty one! Straight through. Yes. Sunday before Christmas. And empty checkout at 11.15.

As I was ploughing my goods and chattels onto the conveyor belt, chatting to the extremely pleasant and helpful checkout assistant (isle 11, Whitefield branch, Sir Ken, if you're thinking of doling out a Christmas bonus to these unsung heroes of retail shopping), a rather brusque voice shouted from behind me "You on the till. Where's the brandy butter? And is it made from real butter. I need to know."

No madam. What you need to know was whether my foot could engage with you to provide a good kick up the arse, if truth be told!

The young assistant was somewhat taken aback by this rude woman, so me being me, I looked her straight in the eye (the woman and not the checkout assistant) and said, rather loudly, "Sorry to interrupt your vile rudeness, but as I don't detect a white stick, I assume you haven't sight problems preventing you from seeing that I am talking to this young lady. If you and your  iPhone would care to trot off down to customer services down to the right, I am sure they will be able to assist you."

She went rather red in the face and stormed off.

And pathetic though it might seem, I felt great! I fail to see why these people, whether they live in proximity to Whitefield's Ringley Road or not, assume they are anyway better than the sweet young girl on the till! They probable haven't done an honest day's work in their life themselves, preferring as they do to bark out orders to their demure underpaid and overworked home help from the Philippines.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Predictions for 2014

January – the world will end on the 14th at 2.00pm, but thankfully, Microsoft will dash to the rescue and reboot the world at 2.01pm. However, several .sys and .dll files will nevertheless fail. Ebay crashes due to the level of unwanted Christmas presents people are getting rid of

February – a bank will announce that it might have mistakenly miss-sold thousands of its customers insurance products they didn’t need at the time when they didn’t want them. Apple unveils an updated iPhone that sees very stupid people queuing outside their shops for days in their efforts to be the first to get one

March – BBC 1 goes through an entire day (18th) without showing a single repeat. Licence payers are shocked, and hospital admissions soar through the roof, which is the only place to get a bed. Amazon, Apple, Ebay and PayPal announce they are going to pay what they consider is a fair amount of UK tax to make up for previous years of tax avoidance. 1% tax

April – the supermarkets begin their Christmas 2014 campaigns, clearing the shelves of the basic staple goods people need in order to make way for fake trees, baubles, gaudy wrapping paper and left-over selection boxes from 2013. Apple unveils an updated iPhone that sees very stupid people queuing outside their shops for days in their efforts to be the first to get one

May – Prince Charles takes the throne, only to be told by his mother to bugger off back to Clarence House and get on with watching the Jeremy Kyle show. The Daily Express reports that Princess Diana is still dead

June – “Britain’s got Reality” is a new show from Simon Cowell that sees all the other reality shows compete against one another to see which is the worst. Judges are Margaret Hodge, John Lydon, the late Alan Wicker and a nine year-old from Frome who thinks they’re all crap. Apple unveils an updated iPhone that sees very stupid people queuing outside their shops for days in their efforts to be the first to get one.

July – it has been raining all over the country non-stop for 12 days now, with 30% flooding. Yorkshire still has a hosepipe ban in place. Gas, electricity and rail fare prices are suddenly increased by 23%

August - RyanAir refund the cost of a flight to someone. The fact that the ‘someone’ is a prominent member of Al-Qaeda isn’t thought to be of relevance. Much to existing customers’ annoyance, Sky offers a free Mini Cooper with every new 18-month subscription.

September – a social network site fails, leaving millions of subscribers’ personal information in limbo, staff redundant, suppliers unpaid and the chief executive as a multi-millionaire without a care in the world. Apple unveils an updated iPhone that sees very stupid people queuing outside their shops for days in their efforts to be the first to get one

October – the supermarkets have cleared their Christmas tat to make way for Easter eggs, although Christmas advertising on television ramps up to even more infuriating proportions. The iWatch, with a screen the size of a small matchbox, will be the hit of the year, despite the fact people won’t be able to see it without a 25x magnifying glass, neither will they be able to do anything with it. The extraordinarily stupid people who would otherwise queue outside the Apple store for a slightly update iPhone or iPad, stupidly queue up outside the Apple store for this piece of soon-to-be-superceded junk

November – Nintendo unveil what they think is going to be the hit toy of the year - a small black box with two simple joysticks that control a small white ball that players hit to’ and fro’ across a green screen. Now that people are beginning to use 4G telephone services, the immediate roll out of 5G, which doesn’t work on any phone currently available, is announced

December – despite the previous seven months of Christmas consumer advertising for games consoles, tablets, phones, clothes etc, the Advertising Standards Authority take a church in Roehampton to court for daring to mention Jesus in its promotional Christmas activities