A Trip To The ‘Homemarker Centre’

Mid-October. Time to plant the summer veggie crop. For retail, I assumed it to be a rather quiet, nondescript time of year. Not so, I learnt from a wander through my local Homemaker Centre. With the ‘Mid-Year Sales’ a recent memory and the big ‘Christmas Sales’ at the ready, now, it would seem, is as good a time as any for yet another sale. A sale of the retailers own choosing for there is no novelty to attach it to. ‘SPRING CLEAN OUT SALE’, perhaps?

As I strolled the anti-pedestrian carpark, half-full at lunchtime with shiny cars, the ‘SALE’ signs shouted at me from every direction. Material-hungry shoppers scurried from their SUVs, avoiding being run over by other rambunctious SUV-owners, towards the gaping mouths of these troves of pleasure. Large rooms carefully curated with various bits ‘n’ bobs that would look cute in that corner at the end of the hall. The participants of this ritual exited the stores with expressions of joy on their face, evidenced by the hefty bags they totted. The only dampener on this moment was explaining the extra lines on the credit card statement to the spouse. No matter, it won’t arrive in the mail for another two weeks.

As I strolled on by, not at all interested in any of these wares, I snapped photos of the bait. All but a handful of these consumerist nirvanas sported such a tempting lure. TODAY ONLY, 20% OFF.

It seems the euphoria wears off. I exit the carpark, not a footpath in site, to the beep of one wary shopper’s horn. A stern look on her face. She took off with abated glee. This experience is obviously not as Zen as they think it to be.


She bellowed. She crept. She’s gone.

Seeing somebody joyed by something small makes me happy.

The powerful engine spilled smoke high up into the dreary winter sky
Her whistle bellowed once, then twice, signalling her passengers that she would soon be on the go
Onlookers envied, just a little, those on board.
But they would have a connection moments later
The engine started to chug, the carriages crept forward obediently
The excitement grew, for both those behind her and around
Bodies waved madly
Their smiles beamed, lighting up the dark, pregnant sky
She was gone, the onlookers content
That was a little bit of enjoyment in their life on a dreary winters day