Wednesday, 19 January 2011

How to find bliss

Many people have spent much of their life looking for satisfaction, for bliss, for that feeling of being loved. I think I know where to find it. In the roof space of supermarkets.

Let me explain.

I know some people hate them, but I am very fond of supermarket self-checkouts. I like being able to zip through when other people are queuing. I like the speed with which I can make the transaction. And despite the complaints of the 'society is going to the dogs' brigade, I like not having to speak to another person when I'm in a hurry, feeling anti-social or generally not in the mood for inane chat.

If you use a self-checkout regularly you will be so familiar with those little remarks they make. 'Unexpected item in the bagging area' has  become a catchphrase. But there is one of these remarks that often gets missed - and this is why I think there's an opportunity for a feeling of being appreciated up in the ceilings of supermarkets.

The very last remark the machine makes is something like 'Thank you for using the fast lane' (or whatever they call it). But it is timed to play a few seconds after you pick up your bags. Now since the whole point of self-checkout is speed, I am (and I'm sure many others are) well on my way to the door at this point. So that 'Thank you' fails to hit the mark. There's no one there. My supposition is that the sentiment then drifts up to the ceiling to mingle with all the other unaccepted 'Thank you's. (I think 'thank you's are lighter than air, though I have no evidence).

So one day a worker is going to be up there, mending a pipe or something, and his head will enter this pool of unaccepted 'Thank you's. The impact should be quite shocking. It will be as if he has saved the world. There is a distinct danger of falling off the ladder.

So that's it. Want ultimate satisfaction? Search in a supermarket roof space.

Image from Wikipedia


  1. Brian, that was downright sweet. What a concept.

  2. Where do you think the muttered, muffled and swallowed expletives go to?

  3. They sink down and puddle on the floor. Be careful where you step.