Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Supermarket Blues

I have come to the realisation that matching the relative prices of boxes of tissues in the supermarket could become an excessively boring activity.

It is now several weeks since I was gainfully employed in Singapore and it will be a few weeks more before I test the waters of the NZ job market.

My day is spent making purchases of the domestic variety.  I have noticed, as I did today, that most of the shoppers  are greying at the temples and seem to know all the lyrics of the sixties music which is piped around the supermarket's sound system.

The fact that I too knew every word of the songs was  rather sobering. One white headed orthodontically-impaired spinster was tunelessly gumming to Little Eva's Let's Do The Locomotion (video) although clearly in her case it was a dream too far.

Even the food demonstrators are become wary of me as I circle with the homing instinct of a Great White around their pizza stand. The urge to refill my toothpick with some dainty morsel is a primary motivation.

The origins of the modern supermarket are not wdiely known.  In 1916 one Clarence Saunders opened the Piggly Wiggly store in Memphis.

He provided astonished shoppers with baskets and sent them through the store to pick what they needed.  Pior to this self-serve revolution such activity was a task reserved for store clerks.

According to another source on the web, the invention of the car ignition switch also had a direct impact on the growth of supermarkets.

"Previously, housewives had to limit their shopping to store within walking distance; it was too difficult and dangerous to turn the starter crank to get the car started. But once their was an easy way to start the car, housewives were set to travel miles to get a bargain".
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