Sunday, November 14, 2010

at the idyll of Lidl

It's down to the cheap seats for me right now. Instead of sauntering around Waitrose, my wallet flush with easy Fleet Street cash, I'm reduced to shuffling around Lidl with a few individually counted pennies jangling in cavernous pockets. But that's ok! (for now) because shopping in Lidl is that rare pleasure, the pleasure of the cheap. It doesn't matter that the aisles are so short of breadth they can barely accommodate one hunger-struck dole-queue refugee at a time, because that's the price you pay for aisles stacked this high with cheapness. And while constantly banging into undernourished Accran cleaners and parched-looking old biddies can wear thin, their very presence only proves how cheap it must all be.

It might seem odd for me, who has disavowed supermarkets over the years on some political theory or other, to suddenly be in favour of one merely because it is so down-at-heel, but whereas Tesco's is also cheap as chips, (not as cheap as Lidl chips, obviously, but still, chips) Lidl wins out with its end of the world clearance house ambience. And also some decent vegetables. And whereas Tescos seems like is nothing more than the spawn of Satan's corporate arm, Lidl, with its unpandering approach to its ne'er-do-well clientele, doesn't seem so.

There are two different pleasures in cheapness (you can probably see that I've not got a lot on at the moment, but bear with me) - one is being able to afford lots of things with your meagre bill roll, the other is in seeing: wow, thats 36p less than in Morrisons; cor you can get six here for the price of four in Tesco's. But for that pleasure, you need to keep shopping in all the shops, especially Waitrose and M&S, otherwise you'll soon be found walking around Lidl's going: fucking hell that's pricey, wow, how did things get so expensive? And then where will you go? Netto's, obviously, but after that? The drug of relative cheapness will have worn off, and now you have to shop at Lidl's just to keep from being skint. The pleasure's gone, there's just a dull pain where your shopping habits used to be. You've smoked on the hot pipe of cheap supermarkets, and you're enslaved, a hopeless sunken-eyed zombie, with bad skin and a surfeit of German tinned products. Lidl by lidl, they're gonna get ya.