Shop It Around  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Shop It Around

By Scott Wilson

Word Count: 500

“Can we go home now, mum?”

“I’d love to hon, but we haven’t bought anything yet. You know we can’t leave the store until we have worked up enough points to make a purchase.”

“But we’ve been here for a week now.”

“I know, sweetie. We should be over half way through the shop by now.”

“I wish Daddy hadn’t had to go to the toilet on Wednesday, I miss him.”

“Don’t worry, love. I am sure he will catch up with us soon. He can’t be that far behind us. I think only about ten families slipped in after your father hopped off the travelator.”

“What if he passed us when we had to go to sleep on Wednesday night? He might have gone straight past our cubicles.”

“I don’t think he would have, darling. We always stop at the same cubicle bank when we go shopping. He’d know that on a Wednesday we would be in bank TC-118.”

“I hate shopping, mum. Why does it always take a month to get through the whole shop? I heard that in the past you could go into different shops and leave whenever you wanted to.”

“IKEA was the first shop to change the way we shopped dear. You had to travel along the set path until you left the shop. There were no short cuts or other ways out of those shops.”

“Mum, I heard that the shoppers used to have the power to bargain and buy things they wanted, and cheaper than the shops sold them for.”

“That was a long time ago, dear. Shoppers gradually lost their consumer power and rights because of the giant superstores and their buying out of smaller chains and stores. Eventually the superstores became so big you could not get through them in a day.”

“When did you have to start working to pay sleeping at the store and having meals, mum?”

“About twenty years back, hon. That’s when the stores became so big you were only half way through the store at the end of the day.”

“Why didn’t people put up a stink about it, demand to be let out of the store.”

“How could they dear? They stopped having people working in the stores ten years before the stores became that big. Everything was automated, computerised and there was no one to complain to. Can you imagine the surprise of this first lot of customers when they got to the middle of the store and found these cubicles to sleep in? Up until then, that sort of accommodation was only heard of in Japan.”

A bright green light flashed on the mother’s wristwatch and a serried of chirps and beeps sounded.

“Our application for credit is approved. We can make our first purchase dear. Dad should meet us at the frozen goods section now. He would know that was the level of credit we just received.”

“So we can go home soon?”

“Probably in a couple of days now, dear.”


This entry was posted on Friday, October 10, 2008 at 1:39 AM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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