Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Your Mission: Milk. Just. Milk.

You (or perhaps someone you know) goes into the grocery store to buy some milk.
Just. Milk.
How does that normally work out?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that this transaction is likely to result in a minimum spend of about $10, no matter what sized milk container the subject had intended to purchase.

If the subject is tired, hungry and or depressed, this figure is likely to rise to around the $25 mark as impulse ice-creams/magazines/exotic fruits are added to the basket.

You can plot it on a chart
A classic rising line from left to right where the x-axis is decreasing emotional state and the y-axis is amount of cash thrown after the false gods of retail therapy.
This is just in a grocery store remember, we're not even talking access to big ticket items like espresso machines or new speakers for the sound system that would make Hoyts moan with desire.

Today in a practical application of this experiment the subject blew $45 and change in an attempt to buy a litre of milk.
Just. Milk.

How Could This Happen?!
Why hasn't the Rudd government stepped in to protect working families from this kind of insidious bracket creep/erosion of our way of life?! Someone has to stop grocery stores from putting the milk in the far back corner, and from setting the confectionery aisle in front of the entrance. The gauntlet of sugar is a harrowing, chilling, gut-destroying nightmare of gaudily designed sugar lollies, and dark sensuous chocolate wrappers. The subject lowered her head, put her eyes to the floor and walked briskly forward. An excellent strategy that normally works well, this attempt was foiled by her own powerful reticular activation system (AKA Nerd Vision) which caught the merest glimmer of information, processed it on a priority channel and stopped her cold just one step past the target: Star Wars Pez Dispensers.

Star Wars Pez Dispensers in the grocery store.
Subject was immediately disorientated, was heard to mutter aloud "Darth Vader! Cooooool!" and commenced trawling the entire display to ascertain number and range of characters portrayed and to ensure that one perfect sample of each $2.45 toy/candy dispenser was placed in the shopping basket. Subject then attempted to regain her target item, and snagged a chocolate bar, large box of biscuits, catfood, and tinned food on the way to finally securing 2 litres of milk, before being observed circling back to the Pez Dispenser display to check that no new stock had been put out in the intervening period. The subject resisted the lure of exotic fruit in this instance.

The mission was successfully completed in that milk was purchased.
The subject exhibited a complete loss of retail control and a new nadir of expenditure for this exercise.
Subject recieves Epic Fail grading for not even eating Pez.


Michael said...

Sad thing is we all know that you are the subject.

I know earlier this year the World Health Organisation (WHO, not to be confused with The Who) were interested in banning cartoon characters from junk food to stop targeting the kids. Not sure how far they got.

Generally when I go to buy milk I scrounge up $2.50 in coins from around the house and walk to Food Works, the one place where its more economical to buy 2L of milk than 3L. Works every time. Except when they put the price up to $2.60 and I only brought $2.50 so I had to get at least $5.00 worth to use my credit card.

J9 said...

Oh you got me. You are waaay too smart for me.
So busted.