Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Recycle Ninja: Supermarket Chaos Part 1

Listen up. This is the only way Gym Ninja will have time to provide a Blog Post.  Apologies to those who read it last year, but you can re-read it and still enjoy it you know! One of Gym Ninja's pet hates is how chaotic supermarkets get over the festive season, so this is a 3 part blog post helping you all 'recreate' that supermarket chaos.................

Supermarket Chaos PART 1....

Do you know how to beat the Christmas queues?
Head to the gym! 
The gym is the ONLY place you will not have to queue this week. The gym is desolate in the run up to Christmas. An odd situation that always surprises Gym Ninja. After all, it is the party season, major indulgences are ahead, party dresses need to be squeezed into and yet, the gym is empty?  Don't get her wrong. Gym Ninja loves a quiet gym for purely selfish reasons. It means that her workouts this week have not taken as much time as usual due to the availability of equipment, nor having to change what was planned because someone is using the dumbbells...grr.
Hmmm, maybe the last minute planning, food shopping, gift buying and partying take up too much time in the busy lives of everyone?  There is never enough time.  It is also truly amazing as to how much time is spent in the supermarket on the run up to Christmas. Think about it. The supermarkets are closed two whole days. Two days. Not a week. Not a month. Two days. Have a look in your cupboards and freezer now? You have more than enough in there to keep you going until Spring. You're not going to keel over and die if you don't stock up, yet every year we all find ourselves queueing down the aisles for hours to buy an overloaded trolleys worth of stuff....allow Gym Ninja to talk you through a typical Christmas supermarket shop and see if it rings any bells....??
You: "I'm not going to overdo it like last year. I'm going to keep things simple and not go crazy. I threw out most of the stuff I bought last Christmas so it was such a waste! Plus, I need to stay on my healthy eating plan anyway. Yes, that's it! Just the basics with maybe a couple of treats. Yep. Oh and I'll not go at the busy times like last year.  No, I'll head to the supermarket first thing/last thing to avoid the rush (delete as appropriate)."
You pack your ‘Bag for Life’ x 18 (well, you usually forget to pack them and end up having to buy a new one at the till so you have a bit of a backlog now!) in the boot of the car, and set out super early/super late to the local supermarket to beat the queues, with your basic shopping list  sat on the car seat next to you.
You pull into the car park......CHAOS! Everyone and his dog has decided to avoid the busy times and the car park is now rammed! People are throwing themselves in front of your car with a supermarket trolley as a battering ram whilst you search for a parking space. You see one. Lordy, there is a space! FANTASTIC! You go to pull in and.....ahhhhr SMALL car! Small cars should not be allowed to park at Christmas with their evil 'this space is empty' trick that they do. You are now trapped between a conga line of shoppers and a pensioner reversing into a parking space 'to save time.’ How reversing into a space ever saves time Gym Ninja does not know? You have to reverse either in or out at some point so it defeats the object surely?  You carry on...there are no spaces and you are being wafted by a 'Car Park Attendant' in a high viz yellow jacket towards that far part of the car park you've only ever seen from a distance. You may need a trail of breadcrumbs to find your way back to the car it is that far away from the store. Surely no one has ever been in this part of the car park other than skateboarding teenagers with bottles of cider? Ooh, that's a thought-maybe some cider, seeing as it's Christmas....?
You drag the 18 Bags For Life out of the car and head towards the speck in the distance that is the supermarket. You can already see there is a shortage of trolleys so grab the nearest abandoned one on route. You feel smug that you have a trolley. Within 5 minutes you feel cursed as you have a trolley with a wheel-defect......clunk clunk clunk.....
Once in store you are overwhelmed by a blast of heat, then physically rammed by 4 shoppers from different directions. No room for dithering in the supermarket today! Think fast, move fast.  You pass the display of Poinsettias. Hmm, do you want one? It IS seasonal after all no? They are only £1.99. You pick up a Poinsettia and put it in your trolley. 4 leaves fall off it immediately. Stupid plant. You head towards the Fruit & Veg. Good. Healthy eating is the plan remember?  
In the Fruit & Veg section you brace yourself and reach for your shopping list. Basics plus a few treats remember? The list....the list...hmmm....where is the list? Bugger! The list is still on the seat of the car. AHHHR! OK, so no big deal. You can remember what was on the list, right? You head towards the broccoli. You have to fight a burly pensioner and a bad tempered mum of 3 for a few heads of broccoli that are more stalk and less head.  Aha....SPROUTS! You hate sprouts but they are Christmassy so you technically need them. You have to boil them into a sludgy lump that smells of farts or it is not a proper Christmas.  You then move on to the carrots where everyone is fighting for the biggest carrots they can find. Ladies! Will you NEVER learn that bigger is not always better?  Talking of such things, you soon find yourself heading over to the nuts. Some things never change eh?  This was on your list surely? After all, you need nuts at Christmas to fill up the teeny tiny small spaces left in your stomach after the main meal...you cannot possibly leave any gaps in your stomach on Christmas Day....’tis the law.
With nuts and various selections of fruit and veg placed into the trolley, you accidentally bang into a few pallets of potatoes and head towards the main part of the supermarket. You run the gauntlet of Husbands wearily slumped over the trolley as their Wives pile ‘em high.  You narrowly avoid children running amok through the store whilst their parents ignore them. Far worse is when the child is put in charge of the trolley to keep them ‘interested.’  Yeah, well it MAY keep them interested but it just lost you your big toe as the child has yet to learn the dimensions and controls of their trolley. Grr. You decide to be 'efficient' and park your trolley at the bottom of each aisle as you dash up and down them to gather up what you need. Basics, basics, basics.....Ok so that's tinned tomatoes and tomato puree for adding to stuff, flour for baking, a low fat spray to keep the calories low as you cook. You feel smug at this! SMUG! See? Your healthy eating is SO on track this year. You head towards the chiller section......
 It's cold! 
You do an audible "brrrr" you only ever do in supermarket chiller sections as you clang your trolley against 5 others who are congregated around the turkeys. The turkey area looks like a whole rack of mooning bottoms, and you are now part of the vast crowd staring back at them. Cue much prodding of turkeys, then feeling slightly pervy at prodding the turkeys as it feels ‘a bit funny,’ then not actually knowing why you are prodding them? What you DO know is that you wanted that one that the lady in the red coat has just picked up. Grrrr! Stressed! You settle for a huge turkey the size of next door's dog, and heave it into the trolley. You notice that the turkey also has goosebumps. Or should that be turkey-bumps?  Anyhow, this pondering is not helping so you start to maneuver the trolley towards the sausages. It's one big innuendo this shopping trip so far. You need the sausages for many many reasons. Mostly because it just wouldn't be Christmas without rolls of reconstituted nostrils, testicles, ears and nipples (aka sausages-can you tell Gym Ninja is not a fan??) to munch on. This supermarket shop is now in Frankie Howerd territory! 
Surely you added cheese on your list? You remember you had added one....but look? Look at the pretty cheeses. Thousands of them. All different colours, with fancy names, italic lettered labels, oh and the ones in the cute boxes. They look fun. Oooh, and the one that smells of rotting feet. Ah, now you probably meant to add that to the list no? Plus you need the round one. Your Uncle likes the one that has blue bits of mould running through it that contaminates anything within a 5 mile radius so that needs to be bought. Hmm, best to add 7 or 8 cheeses to the trolley 'just in case'.......*clunk* goes the ton of cheese that hits the bottom of the trolley, squashing the broccoli as it falls.
Sound familiar so far......? Yep. Thought so.....! Well, it is getting a tad long this blog so Gym Ninja has chopped it up for easy bite sized (low cal of course) blog chunks, so be sure to report back tomorrow for your next stage of the Great Christmas Supermarket Shop.......tomorrow we leave the chiller section for pastures new...!