No fruity coleslaw: Pas de salade de chou cru fruité :
“I mean, when’s it coming?” she continues. “Mmm?! What’s going on? Not there yesterday, not here today! No fruity coleslaw! Call this a supermarket?!”
Her reactions are wonderfully disproportionate to the reality of the situation; but not to her psychic terror. In herself, she is facing a crisis. If you exist only in as much as you consume things, then when the fruity coleslaw goes, you go. You simply don’t exist anymore – so of course you scream and shout like a thwarted child. Everyone fears annihilation.
Meanwhile, as I try and tune out Sumo’s rant, I think back to an interview I heard on the radio this morning. The presenter was talking to a financial guru about the economy, and things were getting tense in the studio.
“Does this mean we might have to…” said the presenter.
I sensed everyone in the studio tightening up, willing him to be careful; willing him not to display insensitivity to people’s feelings.
“Does this mean we might have to… well, there’s no other way of putting it…”
Such hesitation and fear! What was he going to suggest? That we sacrifice our first born? Actively promote slavery? But no – it was worse; much worse.
“Does this mean that we might have to… well, there’s no other way of putting it… tighten our belts, er, you know – spend less?”
The financial guru coughed, and mumbled something evasive. Realising his terrible error, the presenter moved quickly on. Let’s have some weather, some sport, some gardening tips – anything to distract from the words just spoken. Spend less? Please, this is a family show!
As Sumo departs, still chuntering, I finally appreciate that consumer sensibilities are the new god to be tiptoed around and appeased; and that the only blasphemy today is to take the desires of the consumer in vain.
Taken from ‘Shelf Life’ by Simon Parke (http://www.simonparke.com/). Available from amazon.co.uk (http://www.amazon.co.uk/).