Welcome to Shopping Simulator the latest game from iNtendo. Don’t let your Angryometer reach level 100!
You enter the store, do you want to go left, right or straight on?
Sorry, you cannot go left, there is a display of half priced donuts blocking the way.
Sorry, you cannot go right, large tubs of Heroes and Celebrations block the way in preparation for Christmas.
You go straight on using a predetermined route mapped out by the mind control experts behind the store layout.
Your Angryometer is at 4
You walk down the central aisle towards the fresh produce, even though the aisle can take five people side by side as its the largest aisle in the store other customers still walk straight at you forcing you to move. They seem oblivious to you, indeed some go out of their way to get in yours. Your Angryometer raises to 10.
Standing in front of the apples you look at the prices. £1.99 for four prepacked or £1.25 a lb for the loose variety, which is better value? Unfortunately the £1.99 prepacked does not show weight and the scales have been purposely removed in this area to stop you comparing. Furthermore another batch of loose apples has three for £1.50 or £1 per KG but no value for lb’s. You reel in frustration from the twisty evil ways they employ tactics like this knowing full well that with a well funded PR team they can wriggle out of any situation and in some cases get MP’s to change key speeches such as the one that mysteriously got toned down yesterday. Your Angryometer receives a further ten points and then another five when you realise that the government is just a wimp. Angryometer has now reached 25.
You move on to the cereal aisle, walking along you look for a healthy alternative only to be confronted by nothing but healthy cereals. It’s only when you look closely that you see the traffic light system has been skillfully manipulated to colour green all the bad stuff and make red all the good stuff, a ploy to train your mind to believe that red is not necessarily bad and green, whilst it may be highlighting excessive fat is indeed a good thing. Your blood boils when you reach the cereal with chocolate chips and marshmallow that describes itself as low in salt and sugar. Your Angryometer is 40.
Halfway down the bread aisle you come across an abandoned trolley blocking the aisle at some rakish angle. As you go to move it a large family shouts from the end of the aisle telling you to leave it alone. As you are not aware that they own the bloody store you carry on moving it so you can pass only for a brutish father to come over and threaten to rearrange your facial features using his stubby sausage fingered hands. Reluctantly you decide to turn around and walk away as the family turns their attention back to their lifetime ambition to appear on Jeremy Kyle, an ambition that obviously includes loosing lots of teeth in the process.
Your Angryometer score reaches 60
You pick up your favourite item only to notice the packaging has changed and the words new and improved has been stamped on the front. With a foreboding sense of disappointment you read that the new and improved product now has more fat, sugar and bulking carbohydrates included and also weighs less even though the price has increased. Angryometer glows red and pushes up to 65.
As you walk around the store you mentally rewind back to your last visit, many of the prices fluctuate on a daily basis. Sometimes by pence, other times by pounds. Balsamic vinegar was £4, it’s now £7.50 and you know full well that this increase is to disguise the fact that when they drop the price again and place a ticket on it announcing the new price drop its will have gone down to £4.50, a tidy increase of 50p skillfully hidden and well within the bendy thing call trading laws. Your Angryometer is now flashing at 75.
You reach the checkout, do you choose the checkout assistant that is under time pressure to get through as many as possible without regard for your packing or the fact that you still need to eat broken, squashed items that are flung through or do you choose the newbie that takes each and every item and rotates it a zillion times looking for a barcode only to pause and ask what kind of vegetable is a banana? The decision raises your Angryometer to 90.
Instead as you only have a few items you grumpily use self service. The process of weighing your basket and weighing your carry bag as it steadily fills to avoid theft suddenly stops and a flashing light alerts the assistant who is tied up with seven other self service flashing lights because a passing fly farted and put unnecessary weight on the bagging departments scales causing a mass meltdown that needs resetting. It gets reset and then stops again as you scan a bottle of wine, technology has not yet reached the point where it knows your age but knows all your friends, where you live, work, socialise, spend, eat and quite possibly take a dump.
Your Angryometer reaches 100, you run through the store ripping off your clothes and raking your arms down shelf after shelf in annoyance. You overturn trolleys, punch your fists into rows of cakes and tip over the unnecessarily large display of fizzy drinks that take over two square miles of the store before jumping into a box of grapes and shouting ‘Yes, but how much are they each?’.
You are arrested and carted away to a hospital subsidised by large supermarkets, in the reception area as you wait strapped to a trolley you notice a vending machine. In the vending machine is chocolate, potato snacks and fizzy drinks, next to it is the family you messed with earlier carrying on their ambition to lose teeth pushing coin after coin into its slot.
Wistfully you close your eyes and think back, not very long but long enough back in time to remember shops, real shops, shops that were privately owned, shops that cared, shops that knew you personally not through the receipts on your credit card but through your custom. Shops that appeared on every corner of every street, shops that made England a nation of shopkeepers and not a nation of shoppers who are fighting to keep our shops.
Your Angryometer drops back to 0. Game Over.
N, but in reality its always Y and the games fixed.
Anyway, on that bombshell that was my day yesterday, I do love going to the supermarket although I have yet to discover just what is so super about it.