Sunday, November 24, 2002

Someone pop that pimple!

If my neighbourhood is the armpit of the town, then MJC, a gigantic block of shophouses just five minutes drive from my house, is this monstrous, red, pulsing pimple on that armpit.

I was there an hour ago to do some last-minute grocery shopping for my trip tomorrow and I regretted every single minute of it.

The supermarket I unfortunately stepped foot on, apparently has defied every rule in the book of "How To Make Your Shoppers Happy and Content So They Could Buy Lots of Stuff" and written a new book called "How To Drive Your Shoppers Insane and Leave With A Terrible Headache".

Someone had the bright idea to play extremely loud techno music in the supermarket, IN THE SUPERMARKET - TECHNO MUSIC! What's that about? I'm well aware of the Asian compulsion to play loud, in-your-face, bad music in stores but techno music in a supermarket?

The aisles are so small that to gain some resemblance of orderly flow, there must be one-way traffic, which of course, goes against the Asian grain of Go Wherever I Want, Don't Care How Many People I Must Push And Shove To Get There.

I was so irritated that I only left with two boxes of biscuits for a four-day trip. I initially had a bottle of distilled water (unpriced) in the shopping basket but when I got to the cashier, they demanded RM1.80 for it, which is ridiculous. I figure that's why they play such terrible, loud music - to erase any semblance of working brain cells of shoppers so they will forget how much 1 litre bottle of distilled water would actually cost (RM1.00).

Besides the supermarket from hell, the Monstrous, Red, Pulsing Pimple also hosts dozens of discount stores that sell extremely tacky and cheap merchandise. The stores follow a simple naming order: 6.88, 2.99, 3.99, 4.99, in bright neon lights so you know how much merchandise would cost. Of course, nothing in the stores is actually priced this way. The stuff they sell is so incredibly tacky that the World League of Pink Plastic Lawn Flamingos is putting up a petition to reclaim the word, 'tacky'. I hear that the majority of voting members of United Nations of Garden Gnomes is also in favour and will soon go into vote. My mom has just announced that she's doing her Christmas shopping there. She must not like us very much.


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