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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

Friday - - Humour -

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).

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