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Once my wife realised I wasn’t actually COLOUR BLIND I lost the excuse to avoid VEGETABLE shopping. ‘What you mean these peppers aren’t YELLOW?’ I said, handing over GREEN ones
meant to be buying, how much of it, from which shelf, and why.
Sometimes I am not even sure what butter looks like or if a fish has two legs or four. If you wish to confuse me, to have me look like a man who has walked into the ladies’ room by mistake, then show me a shopping list.
‘A person buying ordinary products in a supermarket is in touch with his deepest emotions,’ wrote the economist John Kenneth Galbraith. I don’t even have to enter a supermarket. The mere sight of the shopping list puts me in touch with my deepest emotions.
I am the salesperson’s delight, and often return home with cans of fizzy drinks that can quench the thirst of I memorised it (not always successfully, which explains how I once absentmindedly bought a vacation in Hawaii I am still paying for), phoning my wife after I thought I had finished. Only to be given a fresh list.
The next generation of phones, I am told, will be grocery-smart. You dial a number and then sit back to finish a novel while your car picks up the stuff and brings it home.
I intend to spend the time saved lying on a psychiatrist’s couch getting rid of my combination fears: shopaphobia and pinaciphobia (which is the fear of lists).