I hate shopping. Almost everyone who knows me knows that I do. Very few, however, know why I do. Considering that I have burdened my readers with all the secrets of my life, I see no reason why they must be spared this one. After all, by now they have become long-suffering even if they had not started off by being so.
The problem for me is that I am badly scarred by multiple choice questions. When I go into the mall for picking up what I need, I find myself facing up to multiple choice questions again. Do I pick the toothpaste that will strengthen my gums or the one that will whiten my teeth? Do I pick the one that will help me crack walnuts with my teeth or the one that will salt my teeth and wipe out germs? Or do I go in for the more exotic version that will drag that girl from the other side of the bus to me by her nose?
I draw on all my knowledge of decision-making under uncertainty – culled from a couple of years of sleeping in a management institute and a decade and a half of management work - and pick the most effective method to make the decision. I close my eyes and, pointing at each brand in turn, intone “Inky Pinky Ponky..”
Having successfully managed the decision I move on to the next. I need a deodorant – and how badly I need it anyone who has spent time in my vicinity can tell if only he can stop gagging at the memory. Here the problem is not so much in the different ways in which they will help me. The funny thing is that a deodorant is expected to rid you of smell but all deodorants sell on the basis of what they will make you smell like. All of them, however, have the same effect – they draw girls to you like flies.
Make no mistake. I like girls. The problem is that I cannot really see how too many of them at the same time is an enjoyable experience. It would be much like being caught in the middle of a cat-fight – with the scratches to show for it. But, if you will use a deo, that is an unavoidable side-effect. I use my trusty decision-making tool – closed eyes; “Inky Pinky Ponky..”; yup you got it right in one - and pick a deo. The sound of giggles behind me makes me turn to see a few Pretty Young Things staring at me. Uh! I had hardly picked up a deo and it had started working its magic!
I walked over to the next rack to pick soaps. This is actually a very unnerving thing to buy for me. Almost all the world and its aunt seemed to have produced a unique brand of soap. That becomes a problem because my decision-making tool stops before I am through a tenth of the available choices. What was the option here then? I cudgel my brains and come up with a brilliant idea. I shall repeat it ten times and pick the one on which my finger stopped. I close my eyes and start. By the time I finish, there is a whisper, “He is such great fun” from behind. I turn around to see that I had managed to quadruple my following of PYTs – all without even using the deo. The problem was that the PYTs seemed to have acquired a male following too. So, my trip to the next rack seemed more like a procession.
I was into the soft drinks now. Having repeated my usual mantra ten times over at the last rack, it was too boring to use it again. The good thing about my decision-making tool was that any nursery rhyme would do. So, I closed my eyes and started, “Old Mother Hubbard..”
“But you said he would say ‘Inky Pinky Ponky.’”, came a shrill voice from behind.
Oh! God! So these PYTs were following me because I was a figure of fun! I dropped my shopping basket and went rushing out of the mall.
So, now you know why I hate shopping!