Seriously, what is wrong with all of these people? | Steve Canavan

I’m suspicious of three types of people in life.Couples who do the big food shop together, drivers who reverse park into a space, and adults who get too into Christmas.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 5:00 pm
People who insist on reverse parking really annoy columnist Steve Canavan. Picture by Shutterstock

Let’s take the first. I mean going to Tesco is awful enough (or, in the interests of not getting sued, same applies to Asda, Sainsburys, wherever), so why would you want to inflict the pain on more than one person?

It’s like saying, ‘listen I’m going to get shot in the face tomorrow, would you like to come too?’

I nipped in our nearest Tesco on Christmas Eve because I’d forgotten to buy Mrs Canavan a present and a friend told me they had an offer on potted plants.

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I don’t think Mrs Canavan has any interest in plants, potted or not (I base this on the fact that in 11 years of living together she has never once been in the garden and I’m fairly sure that if I asked her to go get the lawnmower, she’d reply ‘what’s a lawnmower?) but it was a good offer on the plants and I thought she’d prefer it to a new pair of kitchen scissors or a fish slice (last year’s gifts).

Because I rarely go to a big supermarket, I’d forgotten just how enormous these places are.

The Tesco near us is, I’d say at a guess, about the size of Luxemburg.

Before I entered I had to go through passport control and then was frisked by a security guard before being directed to a carousel where I waited for a trolley.

As I zoomed down the aisles I passed countless number of couples who were diligently doing the shop together.

At one point I stopped to observe the following exchange between a man and woman in their 30s.

‘Do you like these yoghurts?’ she said holding up some, well, yoghurts.

‘No, I’m not keen on those but if you want them, get them,’ he replied.

‘Well if you don’t like them I won’t get them,’ she replied.

‘No, honest, if you like them, get them – I’m sure they’ll get eaten,’ he said.

‘Well,’ she said, clearly concerned, as if mulling over whether or not to put down an ageing and beloved family pet, ‘I’m not sure I’ll get through all six.’

Now if this were my wife, this would be the point I’d serve divorce papers and march out of the store shouting: ‘For god’s sake it’s only some bloody Muller Light.’

But her fella – clearly as drippy as his partner, or perhaps just resigned to the dismal life he’s destined to experience – replied, ‘Well, maybe buy four of the individual ones.’

She voiced her concern about the price of such a purchase and the conversation continued for another six or seven minutes, or at least I imagine it did because by that point I’d lost the will to live and had departed the scene.

It did make me wonder, though, that if they spent that long discussing yoghurt, the entire shop must take, oh I don’t know, around 11 or 12 hours.

I expect they bring packed sandwiches with them and stop for a picnic in the toiletries aisle.

Point two. Drivers who reverse into a parking bay.

I don’t get it. Surely life is too short to spend an extra minute of your day, upon spotting a space in a car park, swinging your car out away from the space before then carefully and slowly reversing back into it, all so your vehicle is pointing outwards and therefore – in the eyes of the people who do it I suppose – making it easier to depart.

I get that in some very tight car parks it might be worth doing but I’ve seen people do it in virtually empty car parks and have to suppress an irrational urge to march over, tap impatiently on the window, and – in a stern voice – ask if it is really necessary.

Granted, my argument is slightly undermined by the occasion I reversed out of a parking space straight into a large bollard and caused in excess of £1,000 damage to my Nissan Micra (which was almost double the value of the actual car) but, still, I refuse to do it on principle.

While I’m in this grumpy judgemental mood, point three – since when did grown people get so into Christmas?

In the last week or so, social media has been overrun with photos of grinning, gurning families dressed in matching festive pyjamas.

What the hell is that about?

It seems to have become – fuelled by Facebook and Twitter – some sort or annual ritual in society but why?

It’s an embarrassing enough thing to do in the privacy of your own home.

Surely the last thing you want is to put on the world wide web for all and sundry to see?

I mean I’d rather post a full-frontal nude pic of myself on social media than an image of myself in the same pyjamas as my wife and children.

I am consoled by the fact that if you look closely at these pics, you will see – especially in any male adults in the shot – a kind of deadness in the eyes, as if they’re mulling over how life actually got to this stage.

And on that upbeat festive note, happy new year to one and all.

Now where did I put my PJs...?

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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