Susan was out and about shopping. On the way out of the door this morning, she told Jeff she was just popping out for a few bits and she’d be back later. She said it as if it meant anything to him but Jeff just yawned and immediately began to enjoy his life a little more. Any time away from that sack of shit was time well spent. He felt invigorated and decided to head next door to start a fight with the neighbour’s cat.
“What a time to be alive” he thought.
Susan was clothes shopping, rooting through sweatshop sweaters and unfathomably thin t-shirts. She was full zombie, wandering about from rail to rail, mouth wide open, pawing at clothes and shoes just to see what they felt like. On occasion, she’d pick an item and hold it up to analyse it. She’d feel it, sometimes chew it, screw her nose up and then chuck it on the floor just to add to the health and safety nightmare that is Primark.
She particularly enjoyed their range of t-shirts with the names of European cities printed on them. She thought that, by wearing an item of clothing declaring “Stockholm”, it made her seem as if she’d “found herself” travelling rather than being the drone totally enslaved by trends that she actually was. She’d never been to Sweden.
She had a whole wardrobe full of clothes emblazoned with various brand logos that’d make an ad exec rub his hands and cream his pants with glee. From Disney to Pepsi; Bob Marley to Harry Potter her clothing represented the best and worst of Western society and she had no idea. She just thought it looked nice.
She found herself in the shoe section, though so totally absorbed by the colourful lights and tactile objects she couldn’t remember how she got there. It was like being trapped in baby book designed to help a child develop their senses.
The shelves were empty, the shoes were everywhere and there were women on all fours hurling footwear over their shoulders trying to match a pair.
In a physical display of irony, Susan tripped on a pair of boots and fell over, a small girl sat on a stool confused because she had one Croc on coupled with a giant stiletto and the customer advisor was curled up, crying in the corner because she’d literally just tided the whole place. She went to work everyday knowing she’d be fighting a losing battle.
Susan picked herself up and moved on. She needed some underwear and, given that one breast was significantly lower than the other (like the scales of justice tipped in favour of injustice) she found that the wire work of a nine year old slave was just what she needed in order to support her jaunty chest.
She picked up a few more items and headed to the checkout. When she got there, she joined the worlds longest queuing system that, in itself seemed to be a shrunken version of Woolworths, laden with products to suit any impulse. Perhaps you want some sweets with your clothes, and an umbrella, and a bucket and spade, and a lip balm, and a plastic lazer gun, and a pair of microwaveable socks and maybe, you want a piece of wood that says “home” on it just to remind you where you are overtime you manage to make it back there.
Whilst she made her way down the line to the sound of “CASHIER NUMBER THREE PLEASE” she pulled out her phone and began catching Pokemon like everyone else. She had thus far been frustrated in her efforts to catch them all. She thought that you caught real life animals that corresponded to their avatars in-game so she spent an evening throwing her phone at Jeff’s feet hoping that it’d light up and he’d be trapped in there for a bit. A thought so mental, even Jeff understood, as he eventually walked off, bemused by the whole affair.
As she got to the till she failed to make eye contact and accept the greeting of the persons serving her. She was enraptured by her phone and this display of blatant rudery did not go unnoticed. She said nothing throughout the entire process and walked out with her bag to the sound of a pissed off cashier sarcastically shouting “YEAH THANKS”.
She got home and none of it fit her properly so she dumped it on the floor, and got herself off to the sight of Alex Zane presenting Rude Tube like it wasn’t a cheapskate, rip-off of You’ve Been Framed.