I had the strangest vision…
A future where versatile robots pick your weekly grocery shopping from sub-zero skyscraper warehouses and deliver it directly to your door.
Where old folk past their best by dates, minds befuddled by insanely too much change and information, look back fondly through serotonin coloured spectacles on the old weekly shop.
Regaling great grandkids sat on their replacement laps,
with mythical tales of supermarket nostalgia…
the thrill of hunting for BOGOF offers;
perusing exotic foods from distant lands and trying to weigh up which had the most liveable with defects;
the titillation of flirting with friendly fellow shoppers as they tried to walk through you like you weren’t even there, breaking your ankles with the bottoms of their trolleys if you didn’t dive out of their way quickly enough;
picking the one behind, or the one behind that …, even though the one in front looked perfectly fine, and telling yourself you were doing it to save the grocery assistant the bother of fronting up the display again, even though you were secretly doing it to service your weird as fuck OCD which you didn’t really understand;
chatting with friendly cashiers who never inappropriately poked their big noses into your business or rudely judged your choices, or ignored you like you didn’t exist and chatted through you to Rita on till 5 about what happened to Sharon who used to do Tuesdays and Thursdays on till 3;
giving yourself a migraine trying to work out how the supermarket was deliberately trying to stiff you on the tea, by comparing the supposed price per grams with the actual price divided by the weight, while fellow shoppers who deemed that you’d been standing in the same spot for far too long, burned hateful lasers into the back of your head;
Future generations will feel like they’ve been deprived of something so magical that when they grow up, they will be moved to recreate virtual supermarkets to traipse around for fun, pretending they are doing their weekly shop.
People will dress up in naff incorrect costumes, and go there for hen nights and team outings, pretending they’re the quaint olden days people doing their sweet shopping.
BUT THEIR SUPERMARKETS WILL BE CONVENIENTLY WRONG!
They will be more fun than they ever were in reality;
without the agonising obligation of having to race to the fire, while being sodomised by the weird rapist in the car behind, after another tedious soul sucking day in the frying pan;
without any of the old annoyances that made you secretly fantasise about going postal with the kitchen knives within 15 minutes of setting foot in the fruit aisle;
without the constant gnawing menace of unknown lurking horrors around every corner;
without the random passive aggression of pubescent assistants who came and stood in between you and what you were looking at just to remind you that you were below them in the pecking order despite all apparent evidence to the contrary;
without the slowly building acrimony that inevitably came to the boil inside a psychotic crucible of caged anxieties and mutual distrust.
Just like we naively misremember the 1950s like it was the best decade ever, and put cosy Victorian ice skating scenes on our stupid Christmas cards,
these future supermarket pretenders will flat refuse to notice the obvious flaws and omissions.
Celebrating something they don’t even understand like it was the best thing ever.
Chugging down catnip inside their collective Disneyland delusion.
And a trillion furious ghosts will scream