A funny thing happened at the supermarket

I am not to be trusted in the supermarket. I seem incapable of only buying what I need. It’s a budgetary risk stepping through those automatic doors. Some kind of strange instinct comes over me as soon as I have a basket in my hand and I need everything.

Last night, taking the chance of shopping while hungry on the way home from work – my only limitation being I would have to carry my wares home. I braved Morrisons needing only to purchase one item. Of course I filled up my basket with artery clogging junk food – my excuse being I would need comfort food if I was going to attempt to watch an episode of The Walking Dead on my own, and at night. I’m a complete zombie-phobe, it’s pathetic, but that’s a story for another day. I also picked up a couple of useful ‘just in case’ items to dull my shame as I stood in the queue at the till.

Assuming the cashier was judging me (being the narcissist I am) I packed my groceries in bags and was about to pay when she asked me if I was collecting stickers. Clearly this was nothing to do with the ‘glossies’ and ‘furries’ I collected and swapped in junior school.  I said to the cashier that I didn’t know what the stickers were for – and asked whether I should be collecting them. Gesturing to the board hanging above her head, she nonchalantly said ‘for the knives’.

There it was, a large promotional sign dangling from the ceiling with a picture of two professional looking knives on a chopping board. Now, being born in the 80’s I was exposed, at an impressionable age, to those really annoying Ginsu ads – and I blame them for that innate feeling that one’s kitchen is not complete without a knife that can slice through a soft drink can and then perfectly through a tomato. ‘Cause I like to slice my recycling immediately before dinner…said no one ever.

Well, not quite free…

The flashback subsided and health and safety mode kicked in. This instinct probably heightened by my newly acquired citizenship. The cashier must have seen my face change and jokingly said ‘yeah, we’re giving away knives’ to which I had to laugh.

Generally speaking I do think we should take responsibility for our actions, be held accountable and steer clear of the litigious slippery slope of blame. The school of  thought being ‘let’s take the warning labels off everything and watch’ – a 21st Century survival of the fittest tactic, if you will. Living in a city where the press seem obsessed with scaring us about knife crime and reminding us of the seemingly increasing incidences of teenagers stabbing each other, giving the impression it is unsafe to leave home at all, I had to wonder – was this a well thought out idea?

Asking for more details, I was told that one had to first collect 20 stickers (one for each £10 spent) before you qualified. This seemed reasonable – since you’d first have to spend £200 and then the knives were only discounted and sold individually (fine print). Somehow I don’t think someone bent on causing injury would think this an effective means of acquiring something sharp.

I went ahead and asked for some since my own knives are slowly becoming as effective as wooden spoons – and no, I haven’t been slicing tins. I do still think this is a rather odd kind of promotion, one I am now totally suckered into of course. I aim to put my embarrassing inability to maintain self control in the aisles to good use!