Every little helps?

9 August 2009

I have been down with what seemed like a flu. This flu-induced incarceration naturally had consequences. Tragedy struck yesterday morning as I ran out of ground coffee. In desperation, I turned to instant coffee. Perhaps that cup of instant coffee made the flu / cold symptoms worse. The fridge was bare too, so I feasted on granola bars, which probably caused dehydration. Anyway, as I felt better and strong enough to go to the shops, I ventured outside: today has been a nice day, a bit too hot and humid, but better than wet and cold.

Off I went to the supermarket and there I realized something: I don’t understand supermarket layouts anymore. Perhaps the television has finally killed off my last remaining brain cells. It used to be the case that the first things you see were fruit and veg, and the grand finale of the supermarket experience was the booze, preceded by chocolates. Now, every store, even if they belong to the same chain, has its own unique unfathomable layout.

Milk, tick, coffee, tick, eggs ... I don’t write shopping lists (even if I write one, I’d forget), so it’s always a mental exercise. As usual, I had forgotten a few things: washing-up liquid, for example.

I was at the eggs section, where one fairly well-dressed woman, probably in her early forties, was handling a few boxes of eggs. She was still there after I went to the bread section and came back, as I was doing the final round through the shop to make sure I hadn’t forgotten something. I thought she was looking to make sure there weren’t any cracked eggs, though at a later point, I came to think there was somethig more sinister going on.

Eggs come in half a dozen or in a dozen. Some eggs are organic, while others are inorganic free-range or euphemistically called ‘economy’ or ‘budget’ or something on that line. They also come in three different sizes, namely small, medium and large. Large organic eggs are quite considerably more expensive than cheap small eggs. The barcode is on the box. The woman in question was probably transferring more expensive eggs to a carton of less expensive eggs, given a few boxes of different types of eggs were opened at the same time.

Perhaps she was not doing anything nefarious: yet, as life gets tougher economically, there is likely to be more low-level pilfering, and demoralization leading to deterioration in social ethics.