I think that most people will agree that grocery shopping is a somewhat of a chore. It's not particularly exciting, and most of the time it's a repetitive bore. In addition, one has to contend with crowds, rude shoppers, screaming children, spills, smells, obstacles, back-breaking lifting and carrying when one gets home, and the overall strain on one's budget. The last thing that one would expect is the possibility that supermarkets might be displaying a less than serious side.
It was while I was shopping in a supermarket one day, that I began to ponder the possibility that there might be secret messages and jokes hidden for discerning shoppers to find. Now when I say secret messages, I don't mean subliminal advertising, or some kind of diabolical plot. Rather it was the location of a particular grocery item near another, that set my imagination into overdrive.
In many supermarkets in Australia, and I presume in other countries as well, a small group of unrelated items are often placed on hanging hooks and displays on the outside of the normal shelf displays. For example, you may find inexpensive girl's bracelets hanging from a small display in the soup section, or dog collars hanging from a pole in the cereal aisle. Obviously these items are completely unrelated and random, right?
But what if some of them aren't? What if it's not quite as indiscriminate as we think? What if there exists such a thing as "secret supermarket humour"? What if we are being subjected to a particular shop assistant's sense of humour? What if you have been shopping in the same supermarket for years and have completely missed the subtlety of their jokes?
The incident that sparked my musings on this subject, were the small collection of items that I found in the baked beans section of a local supermarket. Hanging unobtrusively from the baked beans shelf as if they didn't have a care in the world, was a selection of whoopee cushions.
While the subject of baked beans, flatulence and whoopee cushions might not be the stuff of refined conversation, I challenge you to help me in my quest to research this further. Will you join me? Are supermarkets having a joke with us? If so, I say, let's encourage them in their efforts. After all, it may just provide a little light relief and make grocery shopping less of a chore.