Mat Bennion

Shopping Lists

Last updated 2nd Augustl 2012

Some of my interests are a little unusual. But this is OK because I'm happy to admit they're odd and they don't do any harm.

This one started when a friend who works at a supermarket told me about a shopping list someone had dropped on the floor and he had picked up. I thought it was a wonderful little insight into someone's life... completely anonymous, totally innocent and slightly surreal.

So, being a bit geeky, I thought I'd put some of them on-line.

receipt 1

This is a man's shopping list. Starts well - get in! with the meaty gravy - pile on! the salt. He's having pie and chips for his tea with no peas and no side salad, probably washed down with a can of wife beater and a bit of premier league footy on Sky. But... hang on a minute... what's this? Dried blueberries??? That's a superfood! How can this be? Ah, his wife is making blueberry muffins. Yum!

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receipt 2

This is very, very specific and difficult to argue with. It gets straight to the point; some might argue it's hardly worth making a list for just 3 things. But there's still mystery and intrigue: are the cornflakes to go with the chocolate to make cornflake crispy cakes? Or are the cornflakes just for breakfast - in which case, what delight is going to be prepared with the cooking chocolate? Maybe a nice chocolate gateaux, or some decadent chocolate cookies. Maybe he or she is going to smother their lover with the chocolate (cooking chocolate is best for this as it melts more smoothly) and perform unspeakable acts of edible love, tongues exploring every last slipery hiding place... No, I reckon it's just cornflake crispy cakes for the kids. Never mind.

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shopping list 3

Could be a few things for breakfast, or maybe an impromptu barbecue. But who's Tracey? Looks like a secret message from the Cold War - every third word forms part of the message - in this case, "Tracey Buns", the lady who runs the baker's shop, who's actually a spy...

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shopping list 4

I recon this is a man who's buying things for a Friday night in with his girlfriend. He's got a recipe for a creamy pasta dish, which he'll be serving with white wine. He's going to tidy the flat up before she gets round - do the washing up, empty the laundry basket. They're going to settle down in front of the telly to watch Friends. And if that doesn't persuade her to stay the night, well, look back at the top of the list: "por"... just add one letter and the evening still has a happy ending!

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shopping list 5

What a boring shopping list! Even the mysterious "5th" isn't that intriguing.

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shopping list 6

Now this is more like it. This is what a good shopping list is all about - it's a glipse into a whole life. There's some nice food on there (creme caramel... yum!), there's jubliee celebrations (took us ages to decipher that - we thought it was divali celebrations for a while). Then there's tragedy - it's coming up to the anniversary of Dad's death, so there's flowers to take up to his grave. And, surprisingly understated, is the reminder about the exam at 1.30pm. Let's just hope there isn't a long queue at the checkout or they'll miss it.