Two years ago, just before Christmas, there was a fight in our local Tesco. Two elderly ladies had chanced, at the same time, upon the last bag of sprouts. When I heard about this my first thought was to imagine them saying "You take them." "No, you take them." "You take them or I'll thump you." I am not a fan of sprouts and would, if sent to get some, wait until there were none left so I could report "There were none left."
This year people were buying them on the stalk, which mystified me. Surely you're paying for the weight of the stalk, which is even less edible than the sprouts?
People often fight for things I can see no reason to fight for. I would never queue all night or barge into shops to be the first to have the latest gadget. I'd wait a few months until the price came down. Besides, if you're first to have a video phone, who will you call? Nobody else has one yet.
I hope video phones never become popular. Some women wouldn't answer until they'd done their hair and makeup. To be fair, some men too. Personally I'd have a selection of latex masks beside the phone. Lord Lucan, Elvis, Michael Jackson, and so on. If I was feeling vindictive I wouldn't bother with the masks, but I'd have a set of fake hillbilly teeth on standby at all times.
The January sales (which now start around mid-December) have always involved some handbag-swinging and shoulder-barging. Desperate to buy things they don't really need or actually want just because it's cheaper, people batter seven bells out of each other. I have never attended the sales and never will. These days you can just order the stuff online and wait for delivery. Less bother and less bruising.
PC World must be getting desperate. I've been getting three Emails a day which are now at the stage of 'Oh please, please buy something'. Soon they will offer to pay me to take stuff away. I'll let them raise their price first.
Today's sales have taken a new and very unpleasant turn. In London, two people have been stabbed and crowds gathered to get in the way of the emergency services. Old Holborn has video of those crowds, some of whom took the opportunity to pick a fight with the police. I am no fan of the Metropolitan Police, they are one of the reasons I won't visit London because they have interpreted 'anti-terrorist' as 'anti-tourist' and regard anyone carrying a map and camera as a potential terrorist/tourist/legitimate hassle target/DNA donor. besides, London's mayor can't even make the trains run on time. Or at all.
In this instance, however, the police were trying to clear space around a seriously injured man. Somehow they had to fit an ambulance through the London sales crowds and that was never going to be easy. Having those crowds pressing in despite repeated instruction to stay back was not helping.
The police did not stab the man. They were trying to help. Yet I would not be at all surprised to hear about more rioting on the basis that someone was stabbed and the police were involved. "It's the system, man, innit like?"
I doubt any of the rabble read this stuff because I use words of more than one syllable but should one happen by and manage to get this far without total brain burnout, consider this:
Maybe it's not 'the system' that stabs people, loots, burns shops and generally makes other people's lives miserable.
Maybe it's you.