Saturday, December 24, 2005

257 - A Bigger Christmas

Most of the Christmas lists I've found so far are quite small. In a way they've been disappointing. I wanted something that showed the horrendous marks of capitalism - gorging on mounds of unwanted food and drink. But no, people seem to have been rather sensible on the amounts they've been buying.

So too is this shopper, but at least the list itself is a big one. I mean, it's truly littered with stuff. Clearly at a loss for presents (or perhaps part of a bid to shut the relatives up through inebriation), the shopper is buying "little bottle of Scotch. Bells." and "Bottle of hock nan." Presumably both these being so close together on the list, are for grandpa and nan respectively. In addition to these drinks, though, are some real classics - "Cavatt. Snowball drink" and "little bottle of Vodka" come further down. I don't know what Cavatt is...perhaps they mean advocaat - a key ingredient of a Snowball.

A selection of CDs has been specified, and due to the range of ones listed I'd guess that a few of them are intended as gifts. "Audio Bully's C.D.", "destinys Child CD GREATEST HITS", "Suger Babes CD" and "War of the world CD" not only reflect diverse musical tastes, but also that annoying trait of improper apostrophe usage.

Presents aside, there are a decent amount of food items as well. From a range of the expected including "Sasage meat", "Party nibbles", "Prawns" and "Parsnips" to the curious ("Red lasagna sauce") this shopper is truly preparing a feast.

Rock on, I say.

Friday, December 23, 2005

256 - Vital Cranberry Sauce

Part of me thinks that this is a shopper who is undertaking an emergency Christmas shop, especially as it was found on the 23rd December. We did our Christmas shop at just after midnight and found the store to be run amok with people, so only someone who wants to carry out an emergency shop would even consider going into the store during the day.

A lot of the items seem to be those last-minute Christmas feasties that make the day, hence my assumption. "Cranberry Sauce *" really stands out due to the asterisk, suggesting a certain extreme desire to be able to buy this particular item.

However, I don't really think that anyone would be buying "Veg", "Potatoes" or "X'mas Pud" as emergency items. Nor would someone be buying cheese and biscuits so late...although a certain dappiness is shown on the list through the separate listings of "Cheese Biscuits" and then, not until another 6 items later, "Cheese".

255 - Stinky House

O-ho, my word! "4 bleach", "4 Tins airfreshener", "80 black bags". This is, surely, the most smelly house in Britain!

Alice reckons this is the list of a cleaning contractor, but I personally reckon that a cleaning contractor would buy this kind of equipment from a wholesaler, rather than New Malden Tesco. Besides, what kind of a cleaning contractor needs "Hair dye"?

Okay, don't answer that.

Anyway, all these musing reflect my gut instinct: that this shopper simply lives in a horrendously stinky house. They may be preparing for the Christmas onslaught ("80 black bags" will be helpful for the reams of pointless wasted wrapping paper), but quite where the "2 Tins of polish" fit in is beyond me.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

254 - Dear Sanda

I let out an audible "awwww" when I recovered this torn up note from a shopping trolley this morning. The beginning of a letter to "Sanda", the young person who wrote this tore it up and threw it in a trolley to hide their spelling shame.

Now, while I am usually a stickler for people using corect spellign and grammer, I think we can afford to let this one go. I mean, I'm sure Santa wouldn't have been offended so neither should we.

253 - Jade's Magnetism

Argos is a curious place. Famed for its elite range of jewellery (Elizabeth Duke), the store operates not on item names but rather product numbers. There's also something sinisterly Soviet about the purchasing process in that you queue and pay for the item, before then queuing again to collect it from a teenage 'warehouse assistant' in a fluorescent shirt.

This list was, as you've probably realised by now, found in an Argos store. A little bit of internet research has pointed me towards item "353/0357" being a "Magentic Drawing Board". It looks like Magna Doodle, but cheaper.

Much as I mock, I wish I had one.

252 - More Gastroenteritis?

I know. Discussing the various states of the digestive system is not why most people visit the Compendium but, whether you like it or not, the content of the list is that way inclined.

Only a couple of lists ago we saw that a Christmas dinner also called for "Bum wipes". However, on this list, the shopper is clearly wishing to avert an intestinal overload through preparing thoroughly clean surfaces with "Tesco's Antibacterial Cleaner".

I'm personally quite thankful for the care they demonstrate. After all, a kitchen can hoard handfuls of different germs if not properly cared for. Fortunately, the Christmas disaster in this household has been averted through intelligent forward-planning. It's also good to see they're preparing for a mighty big turkey with their "Foil - long one Long one".

251 - What a Difference an 'S' Makes

Pluralisation is an important part of shopping, as it signifies whether more than one of a particular item is required. However, the pluralisation of an item that already appears as a single is just crazy. Check out the "sausages" on this list, swiftly followed by "Sausages" for a prime example.

But closer scrutinisation of the list suggests alternative explanations. Perhaps these are different kinds of sausages. While "sausages" are placed close to "Turkey", "Sausage" has a better acquaintance with "Bacon". For Christmas dinner we often porcupine the turkey with sausages on sticks, which explains the linking of the first two items.

Then again, the sausages are usually pigs in blankets - sausages wrapped in bacon. Perhaps this list isn't as easily explained as I thought.

250 - Christmas Dinner Induces Diarrhea

Something smells fishy. It may be that I've got my 'conspiracy theory' hat on again, but this shopper seems to be purposely setting out to give their Christmas dinner guests some severe intestinal problems.

According to the notepaper, "Revenge is a dish best served chilled". If, indeed, this is the aim of the shopper then presumably the aforementioned revenge is to inflicted through the "cream" or "cream soda". Eurgh.

But how do I know they are out to provide digestive difficulties? Simple - they're fully prepared with "Bum wipes". Then again, these might simply be in preparation for the blowback from the "sprouts"...

249 - Emergency Pringles

Emergency items, for those who are only just tuning in to the Compendium, are those which are added at the last minute to a list - usually signified by different handwriting or a different coloured pen.

In this example, "pringles" are added as an emergency item. One presumes that these are intended as a kind of 'snack' on Christmas Day, as the list features such festive favourites as "xmas log + cake" and "xmas pudding", but similarly they may simply be to bolster the junk-intake of "chips" and "biscuits".

Interestingly, the curiously shaped pad appears to be from Harrods. Check out the faint remnants of the logo at the bottom if you don't believe me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

248 - Ham 4 Boxing Day

Boxing Day, it seems, is a distinctly pointless British tradition. Indeed, even the Simpsons made reference to the ridiculousness of it in their Christmas broadcast last year. Stupid and pointless as it may be, though, I don't think it's any more crazy than Thanksgiving. I mean - an annual meal to remember when the Native Americans saved the Pilgrims' collective backsides from starvation. It sounds a great idea. How about the reservations? "But we do a big dinner, so why do you need your land back?" Compared to this, I think a holiday based loosely around St Stephen's Day is quite sane.

Anyway, I'm getting distracted from the list. The exciting thing about this shopper is how they're preparing for the further culinary onslaught of Boxing Day with "Ham". But it's not all too far advanced. Don't believe be? Check the "BRussels", set apart (as they should be) from other "Greens". THAT is Christmas food.

247 - The Week Before Christmas

In the lead up to Christmas we all begin to buy items for the big day that will last for more than a couple of days. As a result, this shopper's list is a fascinating combination of Christmas items ("Mince pies", "Sprouts" and "Sausage meat") and the everyday ("nappies?" and "Bold").

Being selective about some of the other items on the list, though, one might also construe that the shopper is creating a very memorable Christmas day - "condoms", "baby wipes" and rubber gloves".


246 - PROPER First Christmas List

Why do the gods conspire against me in such a way? After the false-start of Christmas lists previsouly, I have gone on to find my first REAL Christmas list. Wonderful! Apart from the fact it's written in pencil, and therefore nigh-on impossible to scan properly onto the Compendium.

I hope that, despite this, you can still share my excitement at seeing "BRUSSELS" and the curiously numbered "1001 ISLAND" sauce. There's a couple of interesting ones on here as well, especially "DOG".

I know for a fact that they don't sell pets in Tesco, but there is a pet superstore just up the road. Is this person seriously wanting to buy their canine friend from a shop?

245 - First Christmas List

Against my better instincts (I originally picked the list out of a trolley, promptly dropped it and a man walked over it) I kept hold of this list - footprint included - because I was desperate for my first Christmas list. And here it is, with a heading of "Christmas" and everything!

But everything is strange. "Roast Beef Salad" is not, in my book, a Christmas meal. However, when we see the other itmes ("Ham/Salami" and "King Prawns/Mayo") I think I can see what's going on.

Written in the cursive script of an older shopper, the items are not for Christmas dinner but rather Christmas tea. I'm guessing that this is mum/grandma who has been invited to lunch at her child's house, but is hosting tea at hers.

So, really, it's not my first real Christmas list at all. Darn it!

244 - Food vs. Drink

Arranged into two opposing columns, the food vs. drink list is a typical example of basic organisation. However, my rudimentary knowledge of science has picked up on the first two items on the list: "ICE" and "SALT" are, surely, absolute enemies of each other. So why buy them one after the other?

243 - A Table of (dis)Organisation

Wow, what a fantastic list! I'm a big fan of organisation, and an even bigger fan of pre-printed lists. While this is arranged into sections, it's not in the order that items are laid on in the shop...but I think we can excuse that little mistake.

Comparing the tickets items to the unticked is an interesting exercise. While there are a significant number of "junk food" items mentioned on the list, very few of them are actually ticked for purchase.

What I find particularly amusing, though, is the way in which the pre-prepared list has failed this shopper. Around the edges are written a variety of emergency items, very clearly being for Christmas ("wrapping paper", "chipolatas", "snacks" and "nibbles" - although I don't know the difference the between these last two).

Curiously, some of the emergency items ARE pre-printed in boxes ("White Wine" has even been ticked, but "Orange juice" hasn't).

All-in-all this is the tabulated list of a shopper who outwardly projects an image of calm organisation, but beneath the facade is just as frantically messy as you or I.

242 - Desperate for Youth

This list is rather sad. While regular items ("BACON", "MiLK" and "BREAD") make up the centre of the list, it's the peripherals that are most interesting.

The urgency with which "WATER FILTERS!" is scrawled at the head of the list indicates absolute neccessity. So, really, we need to think about why people use water filters. The Healthy House Ltd says that "Clean water is essential for healthy living", before goign on at quite boring length about how many times water has been recycled before we drink it. From this evidence, therefore, we can work out that the shopper is a keen health fanatic (as long as we choose to ignore the "BACON", "KETCHUP" and "PIZZAS" on the list!)

Secondly, there are the items at the lower-right of the list. Vanity items including "Revlon Age Defying All Day Lifting Foundation" and "No 7 Uplifting Foundation" scream to me the title of this list. I am convinced that this list belongs to someone desperately holding on to what youth they have, in a bid to beat the aging process.

Now, I realised yesterday that as well as having a receding hairline I'm also getting considerably thinner on top...but I don't think there's any creams that can help me appear something I'm not!

241 - Fruitilicious

Okay, so it's not all fruit. In fact it's predemoninantly vegetables and salad items - but I think you get the idea. Finally someone to add to the collection with a healthy eating conscience. Not that others don't have one, mind, but they're few and far between - especially in this season of excess.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Weird Web Award

So, the Compendium has been recognised by AlterVistas as "a web site of outstanding oddness". Excellent!

Monday, December 19, 2005

240 - Whose Juice

This list was stuck, tempting me, to the glass window of a trolley park in Tesco's. Since the Sun article, I've been finding lists at my local Tesco in considerably shorter supply than normal, but I wonder whether this is as a result of the article itself or merely the change in weather. I would have thought that more lists would be appearing as we near Christmas, and I'm still desperate to get my hands on one with "brussel sprouts", but until then I'll have to be content with lists such as this.

It's the "Juice" that intrigues me. Is this "Tom's Juice" (in which case there's an inaccurate apostrophe), or "Tom(ato(e))s Juice", in which case I think there's an amount of erratic pluralisation taking place. Either way, the shopper knows what they want - and what they don't. Evidently the "Baguette" is French enough for this shopper. "Croissants" have been crossed off.

239 - Aisle by Aisle

Two aisle geniuses (genii?) in a row. Amazing.

Starting at the door end by the toilettries, this shopper has listed their items in such a way as to be able to parade up and down the aisles at ease. While I praise such organisation, I can't help but query getting "potatoes" in the middle of a shop. This is sticking to the layout of the shop too closely, in my opinion, as I strongly believe in buying fruit and veg either at the start or the end of a shop.

It would confuse me any other way.

238 - Juice, not Bread

Quite how it's possible to mistake "Juice" for "Bread" is beyond me. One is firm and made of flour, the other is squeezed from fruit. But this shopper did decide to scribble "Bread" off their list and replace it with "Juice", only to add "Bread" onto the list further down.

However, perhaps the truth is that this shopper is cunning. "Juice", "cheese" and "milk" live close to each other in the supermarket, whereas "Bread" is nearest to "sandwich filler" and "Eggs". Just like on the list! This may well be the work of an aisle genius.

230 - Napkin Shopping

Writing on napkins seems to be something that lots of us do, but rarely are these scribbles of any practical use other than to pass the time while waiting for our dinner to arrive. This shopper used that time wisely, though, jotting down items they needed from the supermarket.

I'm worried by the "*Money*" though, as perhaps this shopper has gone into a restaurant without enough cash to pay for their food.

Then again, perhaps they weren't actually in a restaurant while they wrote this...

236 - International Pooh

Pooh Bear paper, and written in an unknown language. I'm at a loss with these - "laks", "shasonercette", "Basilikum". Something about it sounds German, if not even further Eastern Europe, but that's just a guess. Any help gratefully received!

Christmas break means more time for lists!

Although only 2 weeks, I'm hopign that my Christmas break will give me a chance to catch up on some of my listing. I've got loads of work to be getting on with over the break, but I'm always desperate to get the collection back up to date after a hectic term of teaching.

I'm also hopign ot lay my hands on a stereotypically festive list - something with "Turkey" and "brussel sprouts" would be fantastic.

Oh, and you'll have to bear with me while I get to grips with my new scanner. The old one gave up.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

235 - More from Sri Lanka, Perhaps?

It's been a while since I found a list written in a foreign script, but one at last makes an appearance. The only thing I think I can make out is "Lenor", but I'm not even sure about that. Let's hope that my trusty listophilist contributors can put me out of my linguistic shame and help with the translation!

234 - Smoking Babies

It's been a bumper trip for parenting lists, and I'm afraid this is another list that I'm going to criticise.

This is another parent who clearly cares for their baby (they've splashed out extra to buy "pampers sensitive" rather than the, presumably, non-sensitive type). They're even opting for "baby wipes (Johnsons)" rather than own brand. But they also buy "toothpaste (smokers)", suggesting a baby being raised in a place where they will be a passive smoker. I hope this isn't the case, but I do get a knot in my stomach when I think about some of the children that emerge through these lists.

233 - Toothrot and Calpol

I wouldn't claim to be an expert in the raising of children (although I certainly have my own ideas...) but this list is just asking for trouble.

It's a kind-of contradiction in terms.

The shopper lists "choco", "cake", "orange drinks", "sugar", and even a "coke bottle small". That's surely getting on for the gross regional output of Norfolk's sugar beet crop, which can't be great for one's teeth.

The contradiction comes in with "calpol" - a medicine that is a paracetamol suspension, especially created to ease the pain of teething in children. The parent evidently cares about their child's teeth, so why all the sugar?

Nice of them to include a "car toy", though. At least the little 'un will be happy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Meet the ana-LIST

Well, this is rather cool.

In August I was interviewed by Caroline Iggulden at The Sun about the Compendium, but the piece was never published. Now, after 4 months of sitting on file, the article has made it to print - although I've since become a year older, and changed my hair style!

Still, it's fun to see that an afternoon of chatting about lists and pulling funny faces for the camera paid off and that a new group of listophilists has begun to visit the Compendium and share their thoughts on the collection. Welcome, Sun readers!

Monday, December 05, 2005

232 - The Line Between Good and Bad

What a list of beautiful construction. Not only individually numbered, the items are split into two groups. The shopper refers to one as "Other", but I'd be inclined to view it as their way of dividing the food they approve of from that they don't. I could compare like-for-like numbers to support my suggestion: 3 could be either "Lemon Juice for cooking" or "Drinks 2 Value" (presumably value cola and lemonade). 4 is "Frozen Vegs" or "Value Crisps". See what I mean?

Perhaps the scorning of "Kitkat" is a woman's way to undermind her husband's shopping urges. The instruction "fruits and vegs wait until I see the market" is clearly a female directing her husband. It's interesting, therefore, that we see "Potatos" have made an appearance. Are they not "vegs"?

The reverse of the list is clearly an employee's record of the hours they have worked at Linwood, which a quick Google has revealed is a private care home in Thames Ditton. Apparently it specialises in dementia, the elderly, older age (both of which, I'm sure are basically the same thing and also a little vague), and physical disability. Then again, it doesn't take a genius to work out that this is a care home: the first column is headed "Carer".

231 - Chocolate Cake

I adore chocolate cake. Alice makes two superb ones. One is a straight chocolate sponge, but the other is a triple chocolate cake with dates and walnuts.

It strikes me that this list is a shopping list for specific chocolate cake ingredients ("Caster Sug", "eggs", "dark choc. 175g min 70%"). That chocolate sounds awesome. 70% cocoa fats? Mmmmm.

I'm not sure about adding "sour cream" to a chocolate cake though. It's sugar all the way for me.

Hello/Bonjour Canadians!

I always get excited when people decide to link to the Compendium. I get even more excited when the site is not UK based (although it's cool when Brits link to the site), but today topped the lot - the Compendium is the Site of Day on MSN Canada!

So, in honour of the new visitors who may pop by as a result of the link (hello! feel free to add your own cross-Atlantic comments to my collection!), it's time to again dust off the scanner and add some new lists...

Friday, December 02, 2005

230 - My Kinda Party

Oh yes. "Pink wafers" and "bendy straws". This, for those of you who missed the magic of birthday parties in the 1980s, is where it was at.

You'd turn up at someone's birthday party to find a long line of trestle tables covered in cheap crumpled paper. In the middle would be selections of sandwiches (meat paste and Dairylea, but not usually mixed) and plates full of pink wafers. Your drink would be cheap lemonade, drunk for a limp plastic cup through a striped bendy straw.

I'm guessing it must be a very Brit-specific thing, pink wafers and bendy straws, if the confused comment on this post is anything to go by, so I guess I should elaborate:

  • Pink wafers are...well...wafers that are pink, and sandwiched together with a vanilla flavour cream.
  • Pass the parcel is apparently of Nigerian origin, and is a children's party game where you pass a multi-layered wrapped parcel in a circle, and remove a layer at a time when the music stops.
  • Musical chairs, meanwhile, is a game where you walk in a circle round a set of chairs of which there is one chair less than the number of people playing. When the music stops, everyone goes to sit down...leaving one person chairless and, usually, in tears.
  • According to a report written by the Education Minister in 2000, Margaret Hodge, musical chairs is "too violent" for children.

Anyway, it's good to see the tradition of pink wafers and bendy straws keeps going. Now, where's my invitation?

Chippy is quids in for charity

Now, this is scary. At the end of June 2005 I included a list written on the back of a piece of paper from Seafare chip shop and made a comment. A person got in touch with me to say they work at Seafare. Then, a week ago (and therefore 5 months later), I found an old newspaper which features a story on Seafare chip shops raising £8,040 for St Luke's Cancer Appeal.

Scary coincidence, or the guiding hand of fate?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

229 - Plan Personnel at McDonalds

Plan Personnel offer industrial commercial and catering temporary staff. Also, they either provide these staff to McDonalds...or their employees eat there.

While waiting for a train from Kings Cross, Alice and I came across this list in the charity collection box at the McDonalds opposite the station entrance. Judging by the fact that all the items are from the breakfast menu, I can come to the conclusion that this list had been there all day (as we weren't in the store until 7.30pm).

This indicates two things. Firstly, that some people feel that McDonalds Breakfasts are charity and, secondly, that the McDonalds in Kings Cross is not cleaned as often as one would hope. Perhaps Plan Personnel could help them out?

228 - Comprehensive Unused

As far as comprehensive, pre-prepared lists go, this is a good 'un. However, I shudder at the way it has been used. I mean, so few items are indicated it's hardly worth using the pre-prepared list.

But it's worse than that. 10 x "Heinz Tomato Soup"? 6 x "Evaporated Milk"? 3+3 x "WHISKY"?!

This is no ordinary list but rather the ventings of a maniac, surely.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

227 - Very Dirty Bathroom

Aha! Dotted around the page like something out of the Da Vinci Code this list is not a secret code but rather an expression of precise organisation. I'm particularly perturbed by the large number of cleaning items on the list (especially the "rust remover"), considering the shopper is also buying basics such as "eggs", "cheese" and "sugar". On such a shop as this I would expect to see less cleaning materials and more food.

226 - Mexican and Stuff

Although surrounded by loads of other 'stuff', it's easy to spot the items for a Mexican dinner perching in amongst this list. "Onion", "Mince x 2", "chilli Jar" (see, I told you it was there), "Red kidney beans" and "Tortilla's + cheese" (despite the incorrect apostrophe) make a pretty good chilli con carne in my book. However, I personally favour the addition of Dragonfart's Wet 'N Reddy Barbeque Sauce for an extra kick in my recipe. Diana who makes and sells the stuff is a very friendly and helpful person. I suggest you get in touch and buy some.

But I'm getting sidetracked by my stomach.

I assume that the "bolognaise" listed is, therefore, of the ready-meal type as the individual recipe items are not specified. After all, if you go to the effort of listing chilli ingredients you would have added the bolognaise stuff as this, too, is mince based.

Wouldn't you?

225 - Becca Might be at School

Becca needs "TPaste + BBath". At least she's keeping clean, which is good. There's something about this list that feels it's written by mum, and therefore Becca is her daughter.

There is, therefore, the distinct possibility that, as Becca is at school (note the "School Bars", whatever they are) she is one of the Beccas at the school where I it's barely 5 minutes' walk from the Tesco where I picked this list up.

Pointless Site

Despite the fact I've been too busy to add any of the billions of lists that are crowding my desk, it's really nice that people have continued to pop by and look at the stuff already on here. Today I've also been given the honour of being an official Pointless Site, thanks to the nice people at

So, I guess it's time I got off my backside and scanned some lists in...

Friday, October 14, 2005

224 - Mum's List for Dad

Lists like this reveal so much about the shopper and their family that it's hard to know where to start. In this particular case, I've decided to begin with the deduction that while the shopper is male, the person who wrote the list is not. Oh, and they're parents.

"Anything for you" demonstrates that the shopper and the list write are not the same person. "Thick Nivea cream" would suggest that the list write is female. And "Nappies", followed up with "Nappies & wipes" further down the list prove the presence of a sprog. Interestingly, the list also features "Preg Test", but this is the only item on the list that hasn't been crossed out, and so supposedly not bought! Is dad in denial of a sequel?

Mum has also given some fantastic directions. "Water (Masses & masses)" ensures that he gets plenty, whereas "4+ pizzas (flavours you like)" strikes me as quite romantic.

The great thing about this list is that when you turn it over, it gets even better. I've evidently covered up any particularly personal details about the people on the letter, but I can assume one of two things. Either the shopper is Frank D. Numann (but then again, why would he still keep hold of a letter that he wrote and signed from 3 and a half months ago), OR the recipient of the letter is the shopper. In which case, as the recipient's address is written on this letter, I KNOW WHERE THEY LIVE!

If I was Danny Wallace or Dave Gorman, I'd probably go round to their flat and try to meet them. For the purposes of my hobby, though, I think that this would be taking things a step too far. After all, they might not like the deductions I've made about them on the site. Who knows what horrible tortures could lie in wait if I ventured round there to get a photograph with one of my shoppers? Then again, the web reports that 2-bedroom apartments in their block go for about £1,600 per month so maybe they wouldn't be too hostile. Or maybe they're in theMafiaa to afford that much rent. Who knows.

The confusing thing about all this, though, is the postcodes. If the recipient of the letter was the shopper, this means that they live in SE1, which is at least a 25-minute train ride and 15 minute walk from where the list was found in a shopping trolley at Tesco, New Malden (KT3). SW1, where Frank now lives, is a bit further still, as it's on the other side of the river.

Still, it's quite cool knowing that I could visit one of my shoppers if I really wanted to.

Maybe I should send a "New House" card to Frank D. Numann, though, because I also know where he's moved to :-)

223 - Bought, or Not Needed?

Lines through items usually suggest to me that the shopper has bought the crossed-out item. However, on this list I'm not sure. The problem lies in the fact that only "CHEESE" and "POTATOES - VEGES" have been crossed out, while there are still loads of items left on the list. Key to this is that "MILK" - an item that I see as a staple - remains uncrossed.

It's very confusing indeed.

222 - Mammal Milk

Sadly the illegibility of the handwriting means that I can't be sure that the third item on the list is "mammal milk". This is especially true as, unless my memory of biology is completely wrong, milk can only be obtained from mammals anyway.

Then again, the shopper also wants "Blue Flowers" which, again according to my biology teacher, is impossible - blue flowers don't exist. This leaves me with the conclusion that either my biology teacher was wrong, or the shopper's was. Can any biology teachers or students help me on this one?

And what's most curious is that "mammal milk" features again on the second side of the list. Then again, loads of others things are on here that are similarly illegible, so perhaps I should stop wasting my time working this one out and just grab a drink.

221 - Football Trivia Game

Why on earth would someone take a football trivia game along to the supermarket? And why would they leave one of the cards behind?

The best I can come up with is this: it was taken along to entertain the shopper's offspring. And it was left behind because the questions go back to 1996, so unless the offspring is quite old, they're not going to have a clue which team was led into Division One by Chris Kamara in 1996. (For the answers, click here).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

220 - Suicide is Painless

The theme tune to M*A*S*H was called "Suicide is Painless". The Manics did a cover of it a few years later, and it was probably better than the original. Either way, the message struck home with this shopper.

I'm firstly amazed by the incredibly small writing on this list. Couple that with the sheer quantity of stuff and you can tell that this is a person for whom organisation and direction in life are important. They're also painfully precise, judging by the accuracy with which they colour each circular shape in the letters of the note paper's heading. The specific mention of "cat food / Jelly" suggests a shopper for whom pets are vitally important. They are also into treating themself on occassion: "comics" with which to relax in front of the TV, and perhaps "Sainsburys" shares to practice some business deals?

But what's this about suicide being painless? Firstly, the ominous circling of "tablets" suggests either a proposed overdose, or something to mask the pain of the "razor blades". However, they can't be planning on ending it for a while: they've got "Coke - 24" (cans) to get through. Stick with it, shopper!

219 - Canadian Livestock and 3 Lucky Dips

"Moose". Mousse? I reckon so.

There's some other wonders on this list - I doubt that it's possible to get stale "Nivea Deodrant", but it's evidently possible to get "FRESH". And do they mean "Humous" instead of "Humourous"? Perhaps it's just that they find liquidised chick peas particularly funny.

I like the circled importance of there being 3 "Lucky Dips" on the lottery, and the way that all the cigarette counter items are placed together - "Lucky Dips", "Paper" and "Fags".

218 - Scrap of a Life

"JOB SHIFTS" and "SWIFTS - DUST" are just about legible on this scrap, but whether this has anything to do with shopping I'm uncertain. I looks more like a scrap of paper referring to someone's work why was it in a shopping trolley?

217 - Emergency Windowlene

Most emergency items I find on lists are alcoholic beverages. With this precedent having been set, I find emergency "Windowlene" particularly funny. Perhaps they like the particularly acidic aftertaste.

I'm not convinced that the emergency "Windowlene" has much to do with the Teddington and Hampton Music Festival, but it would be nice to think that it's possibly given out as a prize. I'm not sure what for, but it could be a nice prize anyway.

216 - Lottee's Additions

I'm unsure as to whether the "Lottee" items are written by the same hand as the rest of the list. Certainly they are in a different pen, but I have the suspicion that the list was written in a black gel pen, and then "Lottee" added her items to the list later. I particularly like the vagueness of "Lottee Halloween outfit".

215 - Beef Stew For Six

The grouped listing of a choice of beef cuts and some vegetables suggest the ingredients for a recipe of stew which, judging by the "x6." in the top left corner would suggest is to serve six people. It's probably not a bad guess on quantities, but I'd be worried about the intestinal effect of "12 button onions" on the poor diner.

"milk" clearly is not part of the recipe. I mean, it's set miles apart. It's so obvious it's a different item. Really. Besides, who would even consider putting milk in a stew? Only weirdos, that's who. (Cue people leaving comments about stews where milk is a standard ingredient).