So last Thursday, I took to Facebook in order to piss and moan about how I had errands to run and how I was disinclined to run them with two kids in tow.
So at 8pm that night, I had the ingenious idea to utilise that hallmark of Thursday evenings, late night shopping.
It was a starless night (maybe, I don't know but I'm trying to build some tension here so go with me), a bitter chill had descended and into the darkness I headed wrapped in scarves and beanies and approximately every stick of clothing I own.
As I walked towards my car, a possum objected to my approach in a way that was, I believe, unnecessarily aggressive. I was already feeling apprehensive about heading out. It was after 8pm, after all!
What if the shopping centre was deserted? Or inhabited with people of the night? I could just see it – my local plaza, a warm and welcoming haven for people spending money on things they could ill afford now littered with hookers and pushers.
Thanks to possum fuckface, my mild apprehension had now been ratcheted up a few notches to wildly exaggerated fear.
Arriving at the shopping centre, I was reminded of something that I am always reminded of when I venture out into the world past the late hour of, say, 5pm;
People do stuff out in the world AFTER 5pm!
It's so weird.
I went to the supermarket and there, I saw people shopping for groceries. After 8pm! Just buying beef mince and tampons like it ain't no thing!
I saw a mum explaining to her kids that they could choose one bag of lollies each. For the movie they were about to go and see. A movie that had to be starting after 8:30. At night!
I saw teenaged girls and older women and boys and men and people who looked like it had never crossed their mind to barr the late night shopping and just hop into bed instead.
I did NOT see any hookers or pushers. That I know of. Apparently, they don't congregate at shopping malls.
I did see a pair of very inebriated lovers whose position in the supermarket could be pinpointed at all times by the smell they left in their wake – imagine the smell of a glass of beer that's been spilt on the very old carpet of a very busy pub and then wrung back into the glass. Yeah, they smelt like that. But for those members of the community without the sense of smell, locating the lovers was also possible by the shouted conversation that punctuated the air. An excerpt;
"Excuse me, sir, excuse me but what is veal? What meat is veal?"
"It's baby cow, babe! I toldja, it's baby cow!"
"Nah, babe, he's tellin' me it's somethin' else"
"Babe, trust me, babe! It's baby cow!"
"…..(unintelligible)…..got a vibrator……know where me own clit is…."
"Babe, seriously, you need to get that checked out."
"Babe, listen to me, please, you need to see someone about it."
"Can ya die from it?"
Just to be clear, I was NOT stalking them around the supermarket. No matter where I was, there they were. They were EVERYWHERE.
So, late night shopping. It's real! Who knew?