WEEKEND WEB: The world today?
WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward
I was quietly standing in a queue waiting to be served in a shop and the flow of conversation in front of me was entertaining or at least, a question of just what is happening in the world today and poses the question is it all going mad?
The conversation went a bit like this: young girl/lady with the basic standard issue slashed jeans that look as if the wearer has had an encounter with a combine harvester and came off second, was slowly moving towards the checkout with the intentions I assumed of also paying for her items but whilst in convoy towards the checkout, she saw a choccy bar or whatever along the way on one of the shelves along ‘Temptation Alley’.
So she added it to her pile of other items in her arms she was buying but as we advanced (slowly) towards the checkout, she was studying the wrapper on the said choccy bar as then came out the zombie device as in the almighty mobile, then clicked, swiped and after a bit of symbolic finger twitching and gliding across its screen, she then burst out with ‘O-h M-y G-o-d!’ as she then spoke in the direction of the mobile screen.
‘I car-knot (cannot) (since certain ‘reality’ television programmes feature people with stretched speech, its now fashionable apparently to speak like them too) burr-lieve thatt this bhar has ALL those calor-rees (calories) in it!’ she exclaimed at it, the mobile, but whether anybody was on the other end of it in, say, other parts of the world (this one) waiting to respond we knew not but she just carried (or carr-reed) on practicing her vacant, ‘shock and awe’ pose as if somebody had come along and stitched the slots in her jeans up.
This episode was not lost on somebody two people down in the queue behind me whom I heard mutter: ‘They must breed ‘em clueless and bring ‘em up that way these days because if that was mine, I would disown it...’
By now another of its followers had appeared in person and the discussion went something thus: ‘I car-knot bee-lever how many calor-rees (calories) there are in this bhar – I have just-a looked it up on-line and it’s crimeer-nail it is..’
Then Two Peoples Down made another comment: ‘Criminal? – never was there a truer word spoken.. Lord help us..’ but in fairness I have no idea who he is/was but based on his observations and comments, I would vote for him without a doubt.
By now the novelty was wearing off so I leaned over and suggested she pay for the choccy bar in question, then give the contents away to somebody else and then eat the wrapper and then we could all get some sleep.
I will give her due, she just responded by doing the stunned polecat look with raised eyebrows while Two Peoples Down leaned over in my direction and joined in with ‘I’m with you there on that one, mate’ as by now she was next to be served at the shopping equivalent of ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ made famous by being on the Berlin border crossing years ago (I point this out for those of a certain age who might think, in this commercially driven age, that it might be some blend or breed of shower gel or hair shampoo.
I eventually arrived, was asked if I needed a bag (nope), then had my items scanned but having said that, how things have changed in the basic shopping ‘experience’ compared to years ago when you got what you wanted, paid and out the door to carry on with your life as opposed to today where you go through the ‘Yes or No’ interlude: for starters, do you have a loyalty card? (loyalty to whom?) followed by ‘do you need/have a bag?’ (years ago, when going out into the world it was a case of keys, check - money/cash, check (sorry I wasn’t going to do the cheque gag there) – but if you were a smoker, packets of ciggies but the less scrupulous having an empty packet to pull out when in company as there would always be somebody silly who would say: ‘ere – have one of mine’ as this ploy hardly failed.
Now I carry a plastic carrier bag so I may help towards saving the planet, the cash to pay for my purchases and then to get a receipt about a foot long.
The receipt now is the next best thing to an advertising leaflet as it can be anything offering from 10 per cent off your next purchase (so they want you back or rather your money at least) or the dreaded ‘How was your experience today?’ with the invite to go online, fill in a survey with a ‘chance’ to win x number of pounds or be entered into a prize draw to win a shopping voucher or cuddly toy.
Not that I have ever asked anybody, like you do, but I have never heard of anybody doing so or come across anyone who has ‘won’ one of these ‘prizes’.
I must admit I never fill these surveys in as once you show signs of being alive plus human, you’re vulnerable to receiving countless piles of either spam messages (on-line) or junk mail (by post) although in fairness, my late ex-mother-in-law would have had them baffled because as she got older, her birthday actual year changed or slowly shrunk over the years (it seems also to be a thing with actresses for some reason or another) as she would have messed up these invisible marketing bodies once they got her date of birth/s.
I will admit that seeing the Choccy Bar Calor-rees Kid in her slotted jeans did make me wonder if it was not too late to get in on this ‘fashion’ craze – the summer thing is coming and this one must be due to be renewed by something else.
So I am thinking of possibly getting in on the act by kicking it off with the ‘Bullet Hole’ look with shirts/jeans/trousers/shorts/loin cloths with suitable random sized bullet type holes in them and choosing from the basic woodworm sized holes up to, say, the Clint Eastwood ‘Dirty Harry’ .44 Magnum sized model or for those who must have the best, the Lord Nelson ‘Victory’ flag ship cannon ‘whopper’ size.
Now – just where did I put those scissors?