The shopping list clearly included the yoghurt. A curry without yoghurt is like a beach without sand. Yet, when I arrived home the first thing H noticed was the lack of yoghurt.
On my first trip to the super market I noticed that happiness had returned to the shoppers. The Christmas was over. A weight had fallen of the hapless shoppers shoulders. Their brows of worry over expectation by others had melted away together with the pavlova. It started with some normality returning a few days ago. There even are a few smiles. The unwanted articles were either returned or had broken already. One woman returned a very colourful box where from within and ever so maddeningly, endless Christmas jingles were still forthcoming. I can’t stop this silly music she said to the indifferent cashier who wrote out the credit ticket. The shopper was visibly relieved. She decided to get her nails done.
‘You wrote ‘yoghurt’ on the list’, H said fearlessly. ‘How come you forgot?’ I saw you writing it on the list, she added, driving home her instant recall. Lately we have been on a bender, checking on each other’s mental stage, a kind off checking our ageing thermometer. Who will be the first to crack up? This game of, who was in the lead role of ‘On the Beach’ or the name of the singer in ‘do not forsake me oh my darling?’ Remember when Deborah Kerr nearly stepped on that crocodile on ‘King’s Solomon’s Mines’? ‘No, I don’t. So, there, happy now?’ I am doomed to a bib and brace in a high chair with commode.
‘I’ll tell you why I forgot the yoghurt. As I put in my coin to retrieve a trolley I noticed a flat object shimmering behind the handle of the trolley. It was a mobile phone, or, it looked like it’. Now-a-days, the phone part is obsolete, it’s what else it does. Something called social media. Everyone is into it. You can see them huddled in isolation on street corners, on the bus and trains; all social mediating on their own. It must be so good.
After I put the mobile phone in my pocket I decided to shop the items on my list including the yoghurt. In the back of my mind I would deal with the phone later on. A quick check indicated it did not have any phone buttons. It just had one button which I pressed. A colourful screen opened up. Was it a mini TV? Perhaps it was a very fancy and expensive social media unit with lots of apps. I knew that apps and e-mail and videos are available now giving many the mobility to do lots of things ‘on the run’. One apps even lets you know where you are by GPS. Truly amazing for those lost without knowing it.
I know that any conversation with those under 50 years old have at the most 20 seconds time before interruption by this social media phenomenon. It shrieks or vibrates across all conversations with more than 16 syllables and 7 vowels. CUL8tr is now a deep conversation. A conversation with those below 30 years one just has 10 seconds to get a message across.
After I filled the trolley with the hand written listed items (bar yoghurt)with smart phone in my shirt pocket, a wild looking woman marched in shouting ‘ I lost my phone, where is my fucking phone’? I calmly lifted the phone out of my shirt pocket, proud that I was still in possession of honesty, (if not of my total recall of Deborah Kerr stepping on a crocodile in 1950) I showed her triumphantly the shimmering gadget.
Gimme, gimme it, she growled. She did manage to say a quick but grudgingly ‘thanks’ but it was more like an accusation I had stolen it. Perhaps seeing it coming from my shirt pocket got her in a mindset of theft. Gimme…again. I returned her to her social media outlet cum phone.
I went back to Aldi the second time and got the yoghurt. ‘The curry is lovely’. H, said: ‘it tastes so much better with a couple of spoonful’s of yoghurt. It softens the chilli a bit,’ she added lovingly. I fully agreed. (lovingly)