Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Complete Shopping Experience

Daddy just could not ignore the bold-front page advertisement

Enjoy your Holiday with a complete shopping experience- YOUR SHOPPEE Welcomes you.(Picture of laughing clown doing cartwheels)

YOUR SHOPPEE has Everything for Everyone (Picture of Happy Family with loaded shopping carts)

Potato Chips, Pasta, Noodles, Socks, Soft Drinks, Lipsticks, Crockery…and more at unbelievable prices ! Great Savings assured. (Pictures of the aforementioned goods)…

Assured gift with every purchase (Picture of a gift wrapped package)

We are holding down the price line  for your sake… (Picture of a woman with hands folded in a humble Namaste)

Daddy’s interest was aroused as he continued to read. He found what he was looking for (in much smaller letters):
Parking available.

Daddy made the decision-as he always did- for the family. They were going to enjoy the day at YOUR SHOPPEE. The idea had an appealing rationale. Last night, they were thinking of a picnic outside the city which meant spending cash on fuel, food, and entertainment. The long drive would also tire him out. On the other hand, for a possibly lesser amount, a few hours at the hypermarket would still ensure quality togetherness for the family. He could pay with the meal coupons and credit card. There was also  the promise of an afternoon snooze and follwoed by  the IPL matches on TV. 

The proposal-decision, actually-was presented to the Family. 

Daddy’s Pet nodded enthusiastically. To her, Daddy was always right, even if Mother thought otherwise.
Mother’s Darling frowned. To him, shopping sucked if you are not buying sports stuff or computer games.
Mother arched a brow and pursed her lips. There must be a motive somewhere, but she couldn’t quite place it.

Daddy tried to placate Mother. We can buy the groceries today.
Mother was sceptical. We are well stocked for a nuclear winter. There is still  stuff from last year’s sale.

But Daddy was nothing if not persuasive. He would not be deprived of his afternoon me-time. Soon all objections were demolished and after a final check for money, credit cards and meal coupons the Family was on its way. They were dressed in their holiday best- Daddy’s Pet in her favourite pink, Mother’s Darling sulked along in his rebellious rags, Mother in cargoes and  a souvenir T-shirt from Hawaii and Daddy in checked Bermudas with a souvenir T-shirt from the Niagara Falls.

As they turned into the YOUR SHOPPEE lane, they saw cars parked on either side of the road. Obviously, dozens of other families had made similar plans and had also read Parking Available in the ad. Just as he was losing hope, Daddy spotted a vacant space and guided the car into it. Mother pointed to the No-Parking sign next to the car. Daddy pointed to the other cars parked there.

The stalemate was broken by a blue uniform who appeared at the window and assured them that YOUR SHOPPEE had taken “special permission” and that it was perfectly alright to park there. Matter resolved, the Family got out of the car and dived into the Store for a morning of shopping bliss.

They shopped, buying some of this and getting a lot of that for free.

Mother bought three carpets for the price of one. The helpful attendant told her that they were part of a special lot that was manufactured and imported for them. The carpets was just what she wanted for the new home they would be moving into after two years. The attendant agreed that it was a shame that these designs would not be available then. She also bought a crockery set to go with the carpets.

Daddy stocked up on potato chips and soft drinks to last the IPL season. He thought it was a fantastic bargain.  Mother’s Darling wanted a cricket bat; so he chose a tennis racquet. The bat came free with the racquet. Mummy was pleased: her son was learning fast. Daddy’s Pet had decided what she wanted to take to school for the week. She loaded the cart with noodles and pasta. Daddy beamed at his ever practical daughter.

It went on like this.

Eventually, they decided that they had had enough and it was time to head home. They wheeled their carts to join the long queue at the check-out counter.

It was a long wait. The euphoria was fading quickly and the children became restless. At last their turn came. Daddy paid with the meal coupons and credit card. There was a further delay while Daddy decided on which of the six credit cards he wanted to use. But that, too, was over and the cashier gave them their bill and a gift voucher which they had  to  redeem at the gift counter.

They got a packet of salt for the voucher. The clerk at the counter explained that their delighted customers often overlooked this essential purchase. So YOUR SHOPPEE had decided to gift a packet of salt with every purchase. Daddy looked askance at Mummy. Mummy looked away. The clerk beamed.

They lugged their purchases to the car. It was Daddy’s Pet who pointed out to the vacant space where their car had been. Scrawled on the road in chalk was the name and phone number of the police station the car had been towed to. The blue uniform was nowhere in sight.

Their shopping experience was complete.