Friday, 29 November 2013

The Way We Live Now

The Way We Live Now, named in honour of that great man Richard Hoggart, will be a collection of absurdities to which I encourage all to contribute.
Any contributions must:
- be true
- have been witnessed by you or related to you by a trusted person
- only be embellished to enhance the original effect, and only if the urge is irresistible
- be linked to a wider theory of why we're all going to hell in a handcart
Here's my starter

Scene: a British supermarket (my legal team's advice is that I shouldn't name it, so its initials are M-O-R-R-I-S-O-N-S).

Customer: "I see that your organisation is presently offering to dry-clean 4 items of clothing for what, I must say, is the distinctly reasonable price of £16.00 - that's just £4 an item!"

Deskbound institutionalised automaton jobsworth: "Indeed we are, Madam, and may I say we are proud to do so as a gesture to our customers!"

Customer: "Then I am delighted, for that very purpose and in the spirit you so generously evince, to reciprocate by vouchsafing the requisite number of articles unto your keeping."

DIAJ: "Thank you. Madam ... Ah, I'm afraid that one of them is silken in nature, of material inappropriate."

C: "I quite understand, and thank you for saving me future sartorial empurplement: just the three items then!"

D: "Certainly, Madam! That'll be £17.50."

C: "I beg your pardon?"

D: "That'll be seventeen pounds and fifty pee, please."

C: "Alright, cut the crap: how come it's £16 for 4 and £17.50 for 3?"

D: "The offer is for 4 items, Madam. You only have three."

C: "So you mean you're charging me more for giving you less work?"

D: "The special price is for 4 items, Madam, as our literature clearly explains."


D: "Well, Madam, I ..."

C: "Dry-clean THIS, sucker!"

etc. etc.



  1. Tesco’s this afternoon.

    I chose an orange juice and a lemon chicken wrap from the ‘Snacking’ fridge. Each had a “Meal Deal for £3” sticker, so I took them to the till with the specified coinage.
    “Would you like any help with your pack...”
    “Don’t fuck with me, lady.”
    “Of course, Sir. That’ll be £3.30, please.”
    “I think these are on your £3 Meal Deal offer.”
    A quick scrutiny of the till. “You didn’t get any crisps.”
    “A correct observation in which, however, I fail to discern the slightest relevance to the comment I have just made.”
    “It’s only £3 if you get crisps too. That’s the Meal Deal. It’s a deal, you see.”
    “A deal that appears to mean the less I buy, the more I pay. I really must present that idea at our next sales conference. It'll go down a treat with hard-pressed consumers.”
    “No, it’s a deal. You have to get crisps to get the deal. “Meal Deal” – look, it says it here.”
    She looked a bit annoyed.
    “Madam, please don’t take this personally, but does anything seem strange about the fact that your company is asking me to pay less for buying more? On that principle, might I be allowed to have one of your excellent 60-inch flat screen TVs in lieu of the crisps?”
    “No, IT'S A MEAL DEAL.”

  2. Excellent comment exposing superstore bullshit by Chris Buchner:

    "If prices ARE lower every day, why isn't anything free yet?"

    Please humour me by demanding to see the manager at your local store this afternoon, telling him or her to forget the Christmas Eve rush AND ANSWER ME NOW DAMMIT OR TAKE ALL YOUR SIGNS DOWN RIGHT NOW AND NO I'M NOT FRIGHTENED TO SUE.