The Surreal Football guide to shopping alone
Shopping alone is tough. The happy people, with friends, don’t know about shopping alone. But we do. What is more embarrassing than being seen in public? Nothing. So how do you get through it? We’ve written a fucking guide. Obviously all of these suggestions come under the proviso that you really should do your shopping online so as to avoid leaving the house, but in case of emergency visits to the supermarket, do these:
1. Enter the supermarket. Essential. Shopping inside might draw attention to you, but shopping outside, through windows, will very often do more damage to your rep than anything else you can do inside.
2. From the moment you walk in, keep your money in your hand. Knowing that even if you lose your wallet on the way round you’ll be able to pay for your food without embarrassment means peace of mind. My motto is: The wallet can wait, the people behind you at the checkout cannot*.
3. Take a list of things. A sense of direction. A reminder of the task at hand. Because you do not want to look lost. You don’t want people asking you if you want them to get someone to come and help you. You don’t want social services called to attend a 21 year-old man.
4. If you forget the list, panic and buy everything on one shelf. A cupboard full of mayonnaise is better than looking like you don’t know what you’re doing.
5. If you knock something off a shelf, put your basket down and run straight home.
6. If you see children in an isle, turn back. Get out of there. Four out of ten people have fallen over in a supermarket trying to stop a child grabbing their leg - with all the inevitable accusations of being a paedo that follow that. And the court case. And the conviction.
7. Never try and take a jumper off as you shop. It’s a sign of weakness if you can’t get it off in one go. Can you afford to pay for knocking down a whole shelf?
More nuanced, loneliness-related issues
8. Do not demand to speak to the manager and accuse her of pricing your favourite biscuits with ‘an ulterior motive, and that it’s never going to happen between us.’
9. When the woman at the checkout asks ‘how are you?’ do not actually say how you are. No-one wants to hear about your loneliness. The checkout woman in particular does not want to hear about your loneliness. Even your psychiatrist takes the piss out of you behind your back about your loneliness. Repeat: I am fine. I am fine. I am fine. You can scream the real answer into a pillow later as a treat for being good.
10. Openly mocking the quality of the fishfingers is a terrible basis to strike up a flirtatious conversation.
11. By all means listen to your ipod whilst you shop. By all means do not sing along to Dido’s ‘I will go down with this ship’ as you select your choice of fishfingers.
13. Buy something other than fishfingers. I’m joking.
14. Do not further accuse the manager of putting out the Valentine’s Day cards ‘suspiciously early.’
A pause to be serious
16. Finally, let’s actually be serious for a moment: Be careful with the freezers. You can get your hand caught in them. You can also throw a fat cunt who was in your way into them, burying his head into a pile of frozen peas before slamming the door into his neck, then breaking the shins of his dangling legs with the corner of a box of Quorn burgers. Fucking get in my way, will you? Not again you won’t, cunto.
*Not my real motto.
**number 15 was libel.