Tuesday, April 04, 2006

8 items or less

Canberra has a few idiosyncrasies, including no outdoor advertising, no toll roads, yellow fire hydrants and a humane legislature.

But by far my favourite is the fact that you can purchase alcohol at the supermarket.

Not only is this highly convenient, but it also brings a whole new dimension to a game played by myself and the LovelyWife – being ‘who can spot the weirdest grocery order when waiting at the supermarket checkout’ (our lives are packed with rich, fulfilling experiences such as these, you see).

An otherwise mundane pile of groceries can get just that little bit entertainingly interesting by the addition of a bulk container of grog.

Not long after moving to Canberra, I thought I had spotted a corker of an order on the conveyor belt:

Home brand cornflakes, a litre of whiskey and cut-price, soon to expire, packaged ham.

This was soon topped by:

Two bunches of spring onions, a bottle of champagne and a toaster.

However our favourite to date would have to be:

A box of 4 individual pizzas and a bottle of Stone’s green ginger wine.

Not just a little bit entertaining to look at whilst waiting for your Eftpos transaction to go through, but indicative of someone expecting a bloody good night in.

You should try playing this game yourselves. In the field of ‘mildly distracting and totally trivial happenings in modern life’, I’d rate it as at least a 7/10.


the grammar man said...

8 items or FEWER goddamnit!

Pavlov's Cat said...

I love this game and have played it passionately for many years. It's the people with 144 cans of Snappy Tom, five eight-packs of toilet paper or 20 litres of milk that I wonder about -- it can't be anything as simple as supermarket specials, can it? (Especially not the milk.)

It is a fascinating game even here in Adders without the grog. But I can see that alcohol adds a special spice.

Grammar Person -- I sympathise, I really do, but 'less' is what all the signs in all the aisles say, after all. It's all very well knowing it should be 'fewer', but why didn't you explain why?


Individual items are 'fewer', whereas an undifferentiated mass of stuff is 'less'. (The opposite in both cases is 'more' which is probably what causes the confusion.) So you would buy less Snappy Tom, but fewer cans of Snappy Tom.

Don't clap, just throw money.

Georg said...

All I have to say is: f**king loved this post. Thanks for making me laugh on an otherwise boring morning.

comicstriphero said...

Pav - Hell yes! Thankyou very much for that back up. I think grammar queen should definitely throw money.

I haven't seen a good bulk buy at the supermarket for ages. Last one I think was someone who filled their trolley with beef mince.

georg - do as the cat says, throw money.

Nick said...

The check out staff at one of my local supermarkets in Perth used to play 'Spot the single bloke' by what they purchased.

I discovered this when I was standing at the checkout early one Monday morning and about three of them started giggling at me - after pressing them they explained the joke, and said I was clearly the most classic case of single they'd seen in weeks.

For the record - cheap toilet paper, a packet of condoms, a tin of baked beans and a home brew kit.

comicstriphero said...

Nick, that wins the prize.