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A long time ago – well, 4 months ago – I wrote about how a trip to the local ASDA in Nottingham had demonstrated how supermarkets know more about people than planners.
Well, after my recent trip home for my Mum’s 80th birthday celebrations, they’ve gone and done it again.
While I was running up and down the aisles like a 5 year old who had got away from his Mum, I chanced upon this:
Can you see it?
It’s a book reading light next to the hot chocolates drinks.
In other words, it’s an all in one, ‘cosy for the night’ pack.
Now I know I slagged off book reading lights a while back and so suddenly bigging it up makes me look a hypocrite, but apart from  this is not a USB powered light, which was the main issue I had with the previous example and  being classed as a hypocrite has never stopped me making hypocritical comments in the past … this product tie-in of hot chocolate and book reading light seems a match made in heaven.
No, not in the sense that people actually do this sort of thing, but because people – or at least some people – like the idea of doing that sort of thing.
It’s called ‘romantic notions’ and it affects everyone in different ways.
I remember when we first moved to Singapore and were buying furniture.
There was a rather glorious chair that Jill wanted.
Really … really … wanted.
But given we had already bought all the furniture we needed, there was no place for it.
Or so I thought.
“But we can put it in the bedroom, by the window”, she declared.
At that very moment, I could see inside her head.
The chair … the bedroom … the window.
No, it wasn’t for some weird sex show for the neighbours, it was so she could sit there – on a Sunday afternoon as the sun was starting to set – legs curled up beneath her, reading some Emily Bronte novel with the cat [which we didn't have yet] curled up on her lap, gently purring.
THAT is why she wanted the chair.
It was a key piece to live out her romantic notion.
So we bought that chair and you know what she did with it?
Put her fucking clothes on it.
She didn’t sit on it, reading a book, EVER.
And that is why the person at ASDA is such an evil genius.
Because people don’t actually lie in bed, with a hot cup of hot chocolate in one hand, a book – with reading lamp attached to the top – in the other, on a cold, cold wintery night. They only do it in their heads.
Apart from the fact turning the page would be a complete bitch, we all know that within 10 minutes, the person lying next to you will complain that “your light is shining in my eyes so can you please turn it off because I’m trying to sleep.”
Then there’s the fact that according to some, we only use iPads for reading now – which, if it was true [which it isn't] would have killed the book light reading business by now and yet everywhere I go, I see one of the bastards things for sale.
So remember, planning [yes, here's the spurious link] isn’t just about understanding societies reality, it’s also about understanding the reality of their fantasy.
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