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If Men Used Supermarkets

December 6, 2011

With the turkey filling season almost upon most of Britain (America had it at the end of November, of course), half the country is probably facing the most dreaded shopping trip of the year… the local supermarket.

Now, by “half the country” I’m not being PC or religiously sensitive. No. I’m dividing the country strictly on “gender” lines – and am pretty confident that the supermarket visit (and much of the rest of the preparation) will fall to the female half of the community. Sure, there’ll be exceptions, but I’m still not betting against it.

So, that annual ‘Daily Mail’ism repeated,  it got me thinking. Not about how I could save a lady a trip to the supermarket – as its not an issue I’m dealing with myself – but just what supermarkets would be like if they were designed to be used entirely by MEN…

For a start, they’d be miles bigger. Great wide aisles, and no need for trolleys with dodgy wheels. Why? Powered golf buggies. Why push and walk when you can ride and grab? Oh, and the on-board checkout facility eliminates that line too.

Next up, the entrance area. Full of green healthy stuff now, and the smell of bread. When TerryCo replaces TessaCo, it’s beer pyramids (at 10p a can) at the door, with the scent of either beer or the female supermodel greeter in place enticing men further into the store.

Moving on, the aisles are no longer a jumble of illogical marriages like “jam next to oven cleaner next to gerbil food” to make us walk (or drive, at TerryCo) past everything else. No, for those computer illiterate saps who haven’t gone straight down the main motorway from beer entrance to “collect your entire pre-ordered list from the smiling ex-barmaid” counter (or maybe the man dashing from the office for a ‘top up’ lunch or get something in for an unexpected lucky dinner date)… every aisle is organised by meal.

The breakfast aisle has your bacon next to your eggs and the pan and oil to fry it in. The lunch aisle is (of course) beer and sandwiches (cheese or ham, pickle or no – with a non-smelly tuna or egg option for the exotic taste).

Dinner aisle: Frozen ready meal city. You name it, we have it – and in alphabetical order from Beef Bolognaise to Tikka Masala. Of course, it’s accepted that some men will want something a little more substantial – and nobody beats mum’s cooking. Thus on one side of the aisle the unemployment crisis among women has been solved with a row of shiny wonderful mothers, each equipped with a stove to turn out a roast dinner to take away – fresh and tasty as you remember it and every plate full of love. They even have a cupboard over the oven to hand you a bottle of Heinz Tomato or Brown sauce from… or vinegar from their home made chips of course. In summer, the cookers are swapped for Barbecues of course – which customers are free to take over and try while the mums produce an emergency replacement meal free.

Driving on, and yes, there’s cleaning materials. Arranged by room. And function. So, bathroom: bath cleaner (made for TerryCo in a ‘one spray and then rinse off with the shower attachment “at full blast ‘cos it’s fun” mode. Sink cleaner, ditto. Toilet aisle. One squirt, five years protection bottle available… plus (expensive, as they know it’ll sell) another that works instantly to remove all smells and stains the second your mother or other significant female rings your doorbell.

There’s actually even a kitchen cleaner section too – but that mostly contains fun things like powerful drain unblockers which produce amusing bubbly snakes when applied to bite through the grime.

Elsewhere in store of course there’s a “life saver” aisle of perfectly wrapped gift items from flowers to jewellery – graded from “sorry I broke the vase” to “yeah, in Love and if you mention it I’ll kill you.” Another aisle of clothes has football shirts of all nations and emergency office shirts (with free ironing on purchase) of all offices.

Sure, there’s fresh fruit and veg available too. The “Bird Table” (as the store labels it – in a non-sexist way, just because it sounds good and is what feathered birds eat – so the PR man will try and have you believe) has it all, but as it’s at the end of the store, furthest from the door and is never changed until the fruit is able to march to the dustbin on its own, it gets ignored…

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And with that Christmas dream, I’m signing off for 2011. This is the last entry from me until around 11th January 2012. The website takes a lot of time before that, and the office is also closed for a much needed break too. For those last minute gifts, the book is still available – so make somebody’s Christmas and give a little Theatremonkey while you can.

Best wishes for a happy holiday and peaceful 2012 to all, and again thanks for reading this year.

Steve.

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