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I realize that for some people shopping is the magical adventure that makes all troubles go away. I’m not one of those people. Shopping is a means to an end. I don’t mind browsing, but when I have stuff I need, I’m a man on a mission.

Today’s shopping trip was like a precision military strike. I had a list of all the things I needed, a mental map of all the stores I needed to hit, an optimal route to hasten the operation, and my debit card was locked and loaded.

Mission Debriefing
07:30 – I leave the house on roller blade en route to a scheduled appointment.
08:00 – A woman in a white lab coat uses sharp metal tools to painfully extract mouthfuls of blood from my body (Note to self: I need to floss more).
08:45 – Dizzy from the loss of blood, I pay the butcher in the lab coat and stagger next door to the bank and withdraw hundreds of dollars in foreign currency.
09:00 – At a Zehr’s grocery store I stock up on food rations that weigh down my backpack and speed my descent down the hill back home.
10:00 – En route, I make a detour to the L’Oven Bakery (a bakery disguised as a massage parlour) and buy a loaf of bread and a sweet muffin to go.
10:30 – I arrive at home grab a quick bite to eat (the fluoride treatment now done), and plan Phase 2.
11:15 – Leaving the house on foot, I quickly make my way to the Westmount plaza, where I figure I can kill three birds with one stone.
11:20 – At the post office I buy some one cent stamps, and mail a letter to my financier in Winnipeg with details of the butcher’s work.
11:25 – Next door, I enter an electronics store and enquire about power converters for the UK (luckily my digital camera and laptop can handle 220 V, so I only need a cheap one).
11:35 – I enter Mark Work’s Wearhouse in search of a disguise for London, something that will give the appearance I belong in a the financial heart of London, and I’m not just some schmuck from the muddy waters of Canada.
12:00 – Leaving the store $150 poorer, I admire the convincing khaki pants and dress shirts (3 of them) I now own. Mother would be proud.
12:30 – I swap a video card for cash at a computer store, knowing the cash is more needed than fancy graphics on a computer I don’t have anymore.
14:00 – After a long bus ride, I end up at the mall in search of more disguises, electronics, and 12-year old girls (of which there is an abundance).
14:30 – The Bay is home to much that is pretty and nice. I buy a floral dress shirt (no joke), 5 white undershirts, and 3 pairs of black socks.
14:45 – As I leave the mall, I notice my mouth is as parched and in need of quenching, so I enter the local watering hole in search of refreshment.
15:15 – I leave Zeller’s with a 2L of Tropicana fruit juice, a box of crackers, and a cheap pair of dress shoes (to replace the cheap pair of dress shoes I currently own).
15:40 – At Future Shop I check out the USB memory keychains, decide I won’t need one for a while, and buy a new set of earphones instead.
16:45 – After another ridiculously long bus ride I arrive home, with $1400 less in my bank account, clean teeth, bags full of clothing, and pockets full of foreign currency.

That my friends is a precision shopping trip. No real browsing (not even in Future Shop). I went in, bought what I needed, and left. Now, all I need to do is get a hair cut, buy the power converter, and figure out where I’m living (just a small detail) and everything will be set for London.

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