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Shopping today..!

Robert Clements

Many, many years ago my favourite book was the Sears-Roebuck mail-order catalogue my father had brought back from the US! It was a catalogue of everything I didn’t own, and I could spend days poring over it drooling over the items and wishing I possessed all the things pictured there. I imagined a fairy coming up to me while I was engrossed in the book asking, “What do you want Bob?” “You mean you can give me anything?” “Anything! Just look at the pictures, make a wish, it’s yours!” “And what do I have to give in return?” “Your soul!” “That’s all? Just my soul in exchange for that trumpet, those model planes, that Polaroid camera? Take it!”

Today there’s hardly a thing, which you can’t get here and which I don’t have at home! So what do people shop for? “Today’s advertising,” said a friend of mine who owns an ad agency, “Is to make you fed up with what you already have, so you’ll throw it out and buy something better!”

I’m not fed up with what I have!” I tell him grinning, “So you’re advertising’s failed!” “Have you seen the latest split AC?” “I don’t need to,” I say, “I’m quite happy with what I’ve got!” “What?” “I said I’m quite happy with…”

Can you speak a little louder!” “You seem to have a hearing problem,” I tell him, “I’m already speaking at the top…” “What? Let’s go outside! Now I can hear you, what a relief! You should get a split AC, even a whisper can be heard!” It was towards evening that the wife asked, “Why haven’t you put on the AC?” “It makes too much noise!”

Not that I’ve heard any!” “Yeah!” “What yeah?” “I heard you!” “You mean you haven’t all these evenings I’ve been speaking to you?” “I told you the AC makes too much noise!” “And here I thought you were listening to all my jabber everyday?” “Did notice you were moving your lips!” It was at the mall later in the evening I met same friend again, “What are you both doing here?” he asked pleasantly, “Not coming to buy an AC by any chance are you? Shopkeeper this is the couple, I told you they would be coming today, they’ll be wanting a split AC, send the commission to my agency!” “Hey I’m being conned into buying an AC when I don’t need one!” I shouted as my friend guffawed, “That’s the way shopping works today Bob,” he said, “We make you feel terrible about something you own even if there’s nothing wrong with it!”

Where can I shop for a new husband?” asked the wife later with the old AC on. “What?” I asked as she threw a pillow at me.
Courtesy: Pakistan Observer

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