Saturday, 16 April 2016


(I was trawling through some old writing I'd posted online elsewhere the other day and came across this little gem, which I previously posted here.  Hope you enjoy!)

Hi everyone!

Feeling a little bored?

Well, no longer will this be a problem because I’m here to cheer you up with my fabulous Supermarket games.

Now, don’t worry, this isn’t Supermarket Sweep, this is real life, and we are playing for the right TO DO OUR SHOPPING AND GET HOME!!!

It’s simple enough to play these games in virtually any supermarket but beware – they have the potential to frustrate you at times. So let’s get going….


The idea behind this is quite simple really. You are standing with a basket of goods, trying to decide what queue you should join. The object of the game is to get served and leave the store as quickly as you can. There are four tills open – each has a few people standing in the queue awaiting assistance. What one do you go for? Well, in theory, you go for the queue with the fewest people waiting…

BUT there’s a catch. Of these four tills, one of them is the ENEMY. If you choose THAT till, it is unlikely you will be home that night. The people in front will realise they have forgotten urgent supplies, or their wallet, AFTER the goods have been scanned. That reduced can of coke that the guy in front of you has will refuse to be scanned and have no barcode so they have to send someone searching for the actual price. Perhaps the whole till will even explode while you wait. You never know what might happen.

And you never know WHICH of those four tills it may be.

You probably won’t be surprised to guess that I frequently lose at this game.


Sardines, anyone??? No, not the canned fish variety, but the game where you see how many people you can fit in a tiny space – in this case a supermarket aisle. My local supermarket seems to have the narrowest aisles I have ever witnessed. It’s hard to overtake anyone, and if you are coming down it from one end and see someone at the other end, prepare for collision! (That’s where we combine the old Sardines idea with British Bulldog, that old game where everyone… well, RAN at each other). This whole operation is made especially complicated by the fact that the baskets are huge in comparison to the aisles, more than half the width. Therefore you have to manoeuvre both your body AND your basket around other shoppers. And if a TROLLEY decides to make an appearance… then everyone in the aisle is SCREWED!!!

Yep, that’s not one of my favourite games either…


Once again, the aim is simple. To extract the plastic bag from the group of others at the end of the till and get it open with minimal fuss and minimal damage to a) the bag and b) your sanity. Sometimes this can be fairly simple, most of the time it is anything but. It can also be further complicated by the shop assistant giving you no help, a growing mound of groceries waiting to be packed while you are still struggling to open the rogue plastic bag, and finally managing to get a bag open after a to-the-death struggle only to realise one of the handles is broken and it’s therefore completely useless.
It’s enough to make you want to give up and go home without your goodies, it really is!


Your mission? To find a basket.

The catch? There are no baskets where there are meant to be. They have all vanished. You may have to run to all the checkouts looking for abandoned baskets, only to realise one of the workers has just collected them all and is heading back to the original location with them, meaning a high speed chase will be in order. You may even find it is necessary to steal someone else’s basket, complete with contents, when they have their back turned. Hey, if you snooze, you lose.


This is where you attempt to buy everything you need for under a tenner. Easy enough if you want, say, a couple of bags of pasta (not even the fresh and therefore more expensive stuff, any bog standard own brand would suffice), some generic sauce and a bottle of lemonade. But that means the game won’t be any fun, it’s meant to be a CHALLENGE.

So here’s what you REALLY want…

Some mince, a couple of chicken fillets, strawberries and some grapes. Oh, and let’s add in some toilet paper (since everyone knows that’s ridiculously expensive considering what it is!)

Now try getting all THAT for a tenner! It’s gonna be a challenge, I promise you that. It may even be IMPOSSIBLE.


The fun begins when the checkout operator asks “Do you have your card?” Cue the frantic searching. Let’s say you’re in Tesco. You flip through the cards you have in your purse/wallet frantically. Asda, nope. Somerfield, wrong! Morrisons, not a chance. Your library card, your credit card, your gym card, your Boots advantage card – all present and correct. But your Tesco card. No that’s lying on your kitchen table. You’ve lost again!


This is a game of logic and/or strength. You must make sure you visit the supermarket by foot or, if you want to make it REALLY difficult for yourself, a UNICYCLE. But we’ll stick to the pedestrian version for the moment. You must also ensure it is a fairly long walk back to your home.

Go on foot and then discover that your favourite thing (in my case, a six pack of Diet Irn Bru or Pepsi Max) has a two for one offer on it. Your favourite thing must be fairly heavy, of course. Now decide if yuu have the energy to carry it home.

An alternative variation is to ensure you have hardly any money, and no credit or debit card with you, and then discover a fabulous offer that NORMALLY you would be able to afford but today you can’t. Of course that version of the game isn’t accomplishing much as the decision of whether to buy it or not is taking out of your hands. But if the aim of YOUR game is to feel miserable, then you’ll have succeeded brilliantly and can pat yourself on the back!


In this case, we assign a shopper to stalk your every move while you try to escape and get your groceries with minimum effort. However, your stalker has an almost psychic ability to appear WHEREVER you go – sometimes it’s as if they are actually WAITING for you, right in front of whatever it is that you want to buy. And they won’t have any interaction with you, or even seem to be buying anything themselves – but that’s because their only task is seemingly to make your shopping trip AS DIFFICULT AS POSSIBLE.

The aim – try NOT to kill them. Murder is, after all, a criminal offence.

It’s gonna test you to your limits though.

The next two games are for the shop staff to enjoy. The customers, once again, will be slightly LESS happy with the results


Shelf-stackers – gather around! Choose a time when you know the store will be fairly empty and remove all the most popular groceries from the shelves. Bread, milk, eggs, juice for a start. If you’re feeling REALLY evil, remove the sweets, chocolate and crisps as well. And, of course, all the alcohol.

Watch annoyed and frustrated customer running around madly searching for their necessities. Try and think what you can take off the shelves next in a bid to frustrate them further.

It will work really well.


This is where you try to either annoy or thoroughly confuse (or both!) the customer with either your conversation or behaviour. Some things to try:

- Start singing “Mustang Sally” and pretending to ride your chair and swing your hand above your head.
- While scanning the price of an umbrella the customer is buying, ask one of your colleagues in a really loud voice if they think it’s a Mary Poppins umbrella because why else would someone buy a brolly so expensive (hello, dumb@ass, it was the cheapest umbrella in the shop!)
- Make your conversation as random as possible – perhaps ask them out of nowhere what kind of music they like, so they feel obliged to ask you too and you can have a really awkward stilted conversation about it.

The techniques are all tried and tested (they’ve confused or annoyed ME in the past) but if you wish to make up your own feel free. Remember the key points – RUDE or RANDOM!!!

You may have guessed by now, that these are not REALLY games. They are in fact the ten most annoying things about supermarkets, in my opinion, CLEVERLY DISGUISED AS GAMES!!! You see, you don’t actually need to go out and play these games – because they are going to play YOU, whether you like it or not!

You have been warned!!! 

1 comment:

  1. Haha these are so funny. I work in a supermarket so maybe I should try some tomorrow ;)

    Corinne x


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