A Walk To The Supermarket: Observations On Human Nature

I’m in a fortunate position where I can easily walk to the supermarket and get my daily quota of groceries, as well as my daily quota of exercise – killing two birds with one stone as it were. In terms of the highlight of the day, it surely does rank as that – only the worst highlight of the day.


I’m convinced that drivers are the scum of the earth. There’s something about getting behind the wheel of a car that turns many a decent human being into a raving selfish lunatic. For example:

*I’ve had it happen, not frequently but too frequently for comfort, that while crossing a road, for lack of a crosswalk or traffic lights, an approaching car in the distance will all of a sudden speed up and slightly alter course to head or aim directly for me, as if I’m somehow trespassing on their personal turf. The driver, ten times out of ten, is male.

*Again not frequently, but too frequently for comfort, I’ve had a car-full of young male hoons passing by who find it a delightful pleasure to yell obscenities out the window at pedestrians. Brave lads one and all of course, passing by in a speeding vehicle, since of course the lone pedestrian, a total stranger is obviously a major threat to their wellbeing and has grievously insulted them by the mere fact of existing.

*Speaking of drivers, an awful lot of them must be on the road heading towards a really HOT date, given their excessive speed.

*And whether it’s a speeding driver, or even a shopper in the supermarket, texting and talking on their mobile is infinitely more important than paying attention to their driving or their shopping. That’s odd behavior since presumably, in either case, the reason they are driving or in the supermarket in the first place, is to drive or to shop.

*There’s one pedestrian crosswalk between home and the supermarket, and I usually try to time things to make at least one driver stop or at least slow down for me as I cross, not that that little road rule means much sometimes as not all drivers care to slow down, far less stop, for a pedestrian who is on their turf, resulting in some close calls. One idiot driver chose not to slow down far less stop in full sight of a passing police vehicle – tisk, tisk. I bet that’s one driver who won’t be pulling that stunt again.

*And then there are those cyclists who use the sidewalks instead of the road, which normally isn’t a problem, except when they race around a blind curve not expecting anything in their blind path, until, oops, they slam into you.

*While walking to my destination, I can always tell when I’ve left the wilderness and crossed over into civilization by the increasing amount of litter I spot along the roadside, not to mention the ever increasing amount of graffiti.

*And don’t you just love your neighbors when residents don’t bother to trim their front yard trees, hedges and bushes that grow and hang out and over a public sidewalk thus denying access and forcing all and sundry to go around. I see that every day on my walk.

*The neighborhood recycling bins are routinely collected same day every fortnight. Yet somehow some people can’t quite figure this routine out. And so I spot them out on the sidewalk awaiting collection that’s many a day away, and it’s not because the residents have gone off on holidays and had to put their bin out early. And some people can not, or will not, come to terms with what is, and what is not, recyclable. Apparently soiled disposable nappies are a regular item that some people consider recyclable.

*Speaking of bins, various charitable organizations put out charity bins at local shopping centers for people, who want to donate used, but useable clothing, blankets, etc. Alas, these bins have been turned into rubbish dumps as people leave all sorts of broken, unusable junk rather than taking their large item rubbish to the tip – where they would have to pay a fee. Instead, the charity is legally obligated to clear up the rubbish dumped and take it to the tip where they have to pay the fee, meaning less money for them is available to assist the needy.

*If it’s been a bit wet, you can tell where humans have treaded by the number of stomped on snails littering the sidewalks. It’s probably a natural, if over-the-top reaction to that proposed Hollywood, and future Oscar-winning epic and sci-fi blockbuster, “The Revenge of the Snails”.

*Amazingly, the one thing I can’t fuss about is roaming dogs, apart from doggy-poop.

*When it comes to parking at the shopping center, where the supermarket is located, drivers rule, OK? I am a driver and I am entitled to park where I want to, when I want to, for as long as I want to and the absolute hell with anyone and everyone else. Is this a loading zone only? – Tough luck. Is this space reserved for the medical profession only? – Too damn bad. Is this parking space reserved for the handicapped? – Let them eat cake. Is this a “no parking” zone? Sorry, that can’t possibly apply to me.

*There is a sidewalk that leads from the main road to the mall and supermarket, with parking spaces alongside. So, of course shoppers wheel their trolley full of goodies back to their parked cars adjacent to said sidewalk. Now, what do these drivers (which there must be since they are unloading their trolley’s goodies into cars) do with the now empty trolleys? Do they return the trolley to a designated return point for empty trolleys? Not on your life. The empty trolleys are just left on the adjacent sidewalk which means those using the sidewalk, can’t. People in wheelchairs; moms pushing prams; kids on bicycles; and of course ordinary pedestrians, have their access blocked, just because the driver can’t be bothered to spend one extra minute taking the trolley back to the appropriate trolley return area. I make a point of putting said sidewalk-blocking trolleys into the parking spaces. Drivers can inconvenience other divers, but not pedestrians – that’s my motto.

*But of course trolleys get scattered far and wide. They tend to be abandoned all over the place. I’d like to blame kids, but I’ve seen way too many adults wheel the loaded trolleys home, then abandon them – but not too close to their home.

*Speaking of that staple of western civilization, the shopping trolley, supermarkets have to employ lads to round them up when customers leave them scattered all over the place. Let’s just say that the local lads employed to perform such duties usually are doing anything but, nearly forever goofing off. I won’t say what ethnic background they’re from least I offend the innocent, but I wish I’d had it that easy way back when.


*It must be said at the outset that supermarkets are run by a for-profit organization and as such they use every sneaky marketing and psychological trick known to all in the retail trade to separate you from your money to the maximum extent possible. They may advertise themselves as your ‘friendly grocer’, but supermarkets are not your friend.

*I often find pre-school kids on the rampage in the supermarket; to them it’s a lovely playground. The parents could care less about proper supervision. As we all know, the supermarket isn’t a playground, though many a parent doesn’t seem to be aware of that, or more to the point, they can’t be bothered. They got enough on their plate trying to shop and talk or text at the same time.

*Of course it really makes for an enjoyable shopping experience when some pre-school brat is just screaming their head off at the top of their lungs – mom might be wearing ear plugs, but that doesn’t help the rest of the innocents. And it’s as certain as death and taxes that there will be always one such event per visit per supermarket. It’s one of those highly unpleasant inevitable facts of life that only death can give one a release from. In fact, to be blatantly honest, I’m of the opinion that just because a couple enjoy a roll in the hay, doesn’t mean that the rest of the world should have to endure and suffer the resulting product(s). Of course to the parents in question, that’s a non-issue. It’s ‘my little darling right or wrong’, and wrong is totally synonymous with right as in ‘my little darling always is right’.

*When it comes to mom and the kids, well, mom has really figured out a racket – how to feed the kids lunch at no expense to her. I’ve seen it again and again, mom wheeling the kid(s) along in the shopping trolley, grabbing a candy bar here, and bread rolls there, some grapes, etc. All are nicked off the shelf, given to the brat, and by the time she and brood rolls up to the checkout counter, all the evidence of what’s been nicked has been consumed, meaning there is no evidence and no product(s) to pay for. I’d like to say that’s confined to young mothers, but I’ve seen mature-aged women treat the supermarket as a free smorgasbord. I’m never seen an adult male help themselves to ‘free’ off-the-shelf food consumed in-store, but that’s not proof they don’t. Still, it does appear to be a primarily feminine trait. Help yourself to the goodies on display and help out the family budget. Of course it’s honest people like you and me that ultimately pay for this in higher grocery prices.

*Speaking of brats, you just know that a lot of the kids you spot hanging around the mall and supermarket should really be in school. By wagging it, I guess they are just following the example set by their parents. It’s the kids’ version of the time honored adult sickie.

*There is an express twelve items or less lane, for those who have, well, twelve items or less. The numerate level of shoppers is obviously challenged for there are many who feel that a trolley full – say 60+ items – is obviously close enough to twelve to qualify for them to use the express lane. If, as a shopper standing behind them you politely point out the discrepancy, well let’s just say you’d better be prepared for a barroom brawl. The innumerate don’t like to have their mathematical abilities questioned. You’d think the staff would enforce store policy, but they won’t say anything and in fact they have been directed not to rock the boat and alienate a customer.

*Another irritation is that you often have two separate couples with trolleys who meet in an isle and have a right royal catch-up gossip session, totally blocking the isle to other customers yet totally oblivious to that fact; the fact that they are inconveniencing others.


*However I too get my jollies. The parking lot is usually pretty full up, so when I leave and walk through the lot homeward bound, there often will be some driver slowly following behind me thinking I’m headed for my car and that they’ll get my parking spot when I load up and pull out. Alas, when I reach the parking lot’s perimeter I just keep on walking. Usually pisses them off no end, he-he.


Of course in some parts of the world the ‘walk to the supermarket’ could be far worse. One could be mugged at best; blown up by a suicide bomber at worst. That’s something I’ve yet to experience.

So, given this is just humanity in microcosm, and one really has to extrapolate to humanity in terms of the big picture, please let the culling being – pretty please. It’s really time for another dose of the ‘Big Wet’, say another forty days and nights of rain and thus another global flood! There of course would be survivors, but hopefully most of the dead-shits would be too preoccupied being their little nasty selves to notice until it was too late!

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