Friday, July 29, 2011

Red Carded From IKEA. Or The Lubyanka?

The Lubyanka?
The last time I went to IKEA I finished my meatballs, the only reason to visit the place in my view, and we had gone 20 yards into the shop itself when I was red carded for moaning. Sent off and ordered by Mrs B to sit in the car and listen to the football on the radio. That's not a record. My previous red card was brandished in my face as I took my first step over the threshold. That huge, soulless, blue and yellow block strikes fear and loathing in me the way the Lubyanka used to do to the poor oppressed citizens of the USSR. Admittedly I like some of their stuff, it's just the shop, and those stupid TV ads, that really bug me.

I was thinking of this a couple of weeks ago as I enjoyed a quiet French Sunday afternoon. Mass in the morning then silence and peace with the shops all closed the rest of the day, apart from the boulangerie. Heaven on Earth. Are we really so busy, busy, busy that we have to do our shopping on a Sunday. Why can't every Sunday, in the immortal words of Morrissey, be 'silent and grey'? And twenty four hour shopping in ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury? That's just posing that is. "Oooh, I'm just so busy I had to shop for groceries at 2-00am". No, you can't organise your life properly and think it makes you look oh so very important. A bit like people who have breakfast meetings at 6-30am. Get organised! Nobodies that busy or important.

On the way back from France we talked about how shopping had changed in the UK, Europe and probably the world. When I was a kid Gorton in Manchester had Cross Street and Hyde Road. Both crammed, from end to end, on both sides with small, family owned shops. Butchers, bakers, shoe repairers, shoe shops, biscuit shops, greengrocers, clothes shops, hardware shops, chemists, greasy spoon cafes, fishmongers, fish and chip shops, pie shops, cake shops, television and radio shops, fridge and washing machine shops, household goods shops. I could go on. No book shops as I remember, there was a library round the corner on Cambert Lane.

I used to go shopping on a Saturday morning with my mum and my big sister. We'd have to queue at just about every shop, usually out onto the pavement where goods were out on display stands, and carry numerous carrier bags full of the weeks groceries home between us. That was where all the juicy gossip was passed from headscarved housewife to headscarved housewife, much more colourful than the stuff in the Evening News or East Manchester Reporter. Admittedly I would have been bored rigid by the experience in those days and just wanted to get home so that I could go and watch my dad playing football in the afternoon and have a kick about with my mates. But I miss it now.

All there is in Gorton now is a huge, soulless Tesco Extra. It might be an age thing, but I wonder if one day I might find Mrs B red carding me from Tesco Extra too as well as IKEA.


e.f. bartlam said...

Kroger has to open 24 hours so when the storms with 80 mile an hour straight line winds come across your yard where your house is surrounded by 20 have somewhere to take the family.

Once there you can go to the British section of the grocery store and pick up a Yorkie candy bar...then wave it your wife's face..."No Ma' cannot have a bite. It's not allowed"..while you ride out the storm.

It's also nice to have a drug store open in the middle of the night when the boy wakes up with a fever and we're out of tylenol.

Nevermind the drunks need somewhere to eat when they finally decide to call it a night at 3am.


Gregg said...

That's not Morecambe you're talking about is it?!!

Seriously, I take your point there, especially about the chemists, and that weather does sound a bit heavier than we get.

Yorkie got in trouble here for showing truckers eating them in ads, and stating too much for a girlie. Then they had ads of girls dressing as truckers so they could buy a Yorkie. Love 'em!

e.f. bartlam said...

Your points a good one too.

Southerners, flying by the seat our pants through life like we do...need 24 hour drug stores, grocery stores, diners, etc. but there are pleasant alternatives.

We have actually spent a few hours in the grocery store during a storm in the middle of the night. I had recently rode out a tornado in the house and after watching the trees in our yard during that...I wasn't taking any chances with a pregnant missus and 5 tons of Live Oak limbs hanging over our flimsy roof.

Somebody should get in trouble for troubling Yorkie. In a perfect world the humourless ninnies would always lose to the they seem to have done in this case.

Greg_L-W. said...


I have managed NEVER to enter an IKEA shop nor for that matter ASDA (no I've been there once).

I tend to use TESCO at 2 and 3 am thus avoiding any customers and can get the shopping done in a fraction of the time since shopping IS a punishment for need!

That I can shop any day seems natural to me - there is little less civilised than having a day a week when you are inconvenienced just to suit someone elses bronze age superstitions.

Shopping at night helps as I don't need to use my blue badge as I can park close to the supermarket door without and I only use the badge when I have to.

There are far too many people abusing the system and thus steadily disabling the society!

What luck Mrs. B. has a red card - I'm not so lucky! My infinitely better half hates shopping as much as I do! Would that I could be banned!


Gregg said...

There you go again Greg. You jump to a wrong assumption and attack 'someone else's bronze age superstitions'.

My view on Sunday shopping has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, which I assume you are implying, it is just that I happen to like the peace and quiet of a French Sunday.

Greg_L-W. said...


There you go again Gregg. You jump to a wrong assumption and attack the reason for quoting 'someone else's bronze age superstitions'.

I regret I am old enough to remember those miserable Sundays when virtually every shop and facility was closed.

Sundays were ghastly if you were in a strange town for some reason.

I find the countryside is unaltered by the facility of shopping and tends to be fairly peacefull most days, but at least Sundays are now less miserable on a Sunday, in towns and cities.

I find it astonishing that based on a minority view attempts are still constantly made to impose Sunday closure, cloaked in religion as an excuse as you remind us.


Gregg said...

For an atheist you have an unhealthy obsession with religion.


You really are a tedious pain in the arse!

Greg_L-W. said...


there you go again Gregg jumping to a wrong conclusion - I am absolutely no type of theist and frankly it is of no interest to me - reread what I wrote rather than what you tried to read.

I like peace in the countryside which I find is not altered by Sunday shopping - I find cities bleak when closed for any reason and have never understood the desire of some to force closure on others.

Catch up and do try to avoid knee jerk reactions and being silly.


Gregg said...

The problem with people like you Greg, is that you are nowhere near as clever as you think you are. That's largely why you are seen, quite rightly, as a loony.

So, if you think I'm silly there's an easy solution, don't visit my blog and do us both a favour.

In other words piss off!