Saturday, 11 September 2010

24 hour shopping

Since I have an almost unprecedented level of free time on my hands, now seems as good a time as any to turn my attention to 24 hour shopping. 24 hour shopping has been catering to insomniacs and the deranged as long as I can remember, so I opted to test the facilities on offer to me and go shopping at three am, because that's the kind of impulsive man I am.

Firstly, the place is eerily emptily. I felt less like a customer, and more like a half-hearted ghost haunting the place on a whim. Drifting silently through the empty aisles is a bizarrely disturbing experience. It's akin to that whole "What would you do if you were the last man on Earth?" hypothetical scenario, but instead of say, racing a trolley up and down the aisles, you just go gently mad and feel desperately alone. Still, in the interests of science, I wandered through the shop and collected my things, occasionally bumping into night-stockers, who completely ignored me (emphasising the ghost thing).

Having gathered everything I need (Beef mince and pastry; how very exotic), I trudged wearily along the checkouts till I found the one manned by the distinctly tired and disinterested woman, who idly scanned my things, but gave me a curious glance. "£3.20" she said, and with a cursory nod, I handed over the exact change (That's how I roll) and hauled my things away, leaving behind the silent, cavernous solitary isolation unit that was the 24 hour shop, the fluorescent lights combining to emit a glow of quite staggering mundaneness, lighting up the depressing pre-dawn world.

Ordinarily, this would have been the end of my little adventure, and I would have sauntered home listening to the squawking of seagulls, but on this occasion, being as it was three in the morning, I was accosted by a man who told me he had been fighting, and the police couldn't help him, and did I have 80 pence he could have. Generally, the correct response is "No. No I do not. Terribly sorry." and to continue, but since it was dark, I was catastrophically alone, and the man looked like asking for the money was merely a polite stage before getting the money by other means, I consented and generously donated 80 pence like a buffoon.

So! Shopping in the darkest and dreariest hours of the day. Highly un-recommended, unless you enjoy being completely alone in a huge, vast expanse of usually busy, but now unnervingly quiet shopping aisles, and you can budget extra money for the hazards of massive tattooed blokes asking you for it, in which case, it's ideal.

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