DIARY OF AN URBAN BOGMAN, DAY 5: I came in here for that special offer.

Honestly, shopping is the most difficult thing I ever have to do.

Doesn’t matter whether for food, clothing, whatever… always a struggle. There are just so many THINGS out there… I can’t cope with the idea of all that stuff, just…. sitting there… waiting to be consumed. It’s intimidating.

I even tried making a shopping list once, but it turned into more of a stream of consciousness prose piece.

Strolling down the aisles, I feel like a montage in a Wes Anderson movie; the back of my head gliding seamlessly through a perfectly symmetrical shot of people and shelves passing by on either side.

I wasn’t born, so much as I fell out,
Nobody seemed to notice meee

Today’s trip was meant to be simple. All I needed was a bottle of water. I don’t drink water from the tap. It goes through pipes, miles and miles of pipes, and this guy gave me a leaflet one time about how the state is poisoning us slowly with some type of microscopic metals, to make us obedient, so now I drink bottled water. That’s all I came here for.

However, as I look around I begin to see more and more things I need. Before I know it, the trolley starts to fill up. Most of this stuff, there’s many varieties of the same thing, and I can’t quite tell the difference. Organic or free range? Extra free or value pack? Fifty percent pure squeezed, or a hundred percent but made from concentrate? What the hell is “concentrate”, anyway?

I’m all tuned in, I see all the programmes,
I save coupons from packets of tea

As I get to the cashier, my trolley is full. Hundreds of things stacked on top of each other like a mountain. I would need a small army of workers to carry it all home. Before me stretches a massive line of people, all with equally packed trolleys, nervously trying to squeeze closer and closer without groping each other. This could take hours. I haven’t even found where they keep the bottled water yet.

Then I see the shelf — well, not really a shelf, more of a corner — stacked full of large bottles of various waters, “mineral”, “pure”, “sparkling”. All from different countries, too. Do I want Irish or Scottish water? Well, what do I know about Scotland? Castles, skirts and bagpipes… Okay.

The kids in the halls and the pipes in the walls
Make me noises for company

Clutching my bottle of pure Scottish premium triple distilled organic free range not–from–concentrate 100% water, I leave the trolley behind. Don’t need any of that stuff, really.

I look back at it, sitting alone in the corner like some overfed and abandoned beast. I could barely push the damn thing anymore, anyway. A decidedly displeased member of staff reluctantly begins to retrace my steps in reverse, putting all things back on their shelves, in what is possibly his very own version of the Wes Anderson montage I lived through just a few minutes ago. Just… backwards.

I join the line for the express checkout. It all takes just a few moments. Wonderful.

Andre K’por