Wednesday 15 December 2004


I had thought that the maple syrup was a one-off. I'm generally OK in supermarkets. I like shopping. But no.

Having just moved house, and being in the midst of more dust and chaos than brought about life on Earth, we needed a load of tea-towels. So off I went, late last night, to get as many as I could in Tesco, who are conveniently open till midnight.

It was easy enough to find what should have been the right section: near kitcheny things like bleach and dishwasher tablets are a whole bunch of cloths and wiping things that you would use in a kitchen: washing-up cloths, washing-up sponges, dusters, super dusters, hyper-absorbent dusting cloths, "all-purpose" (ha!) cloths... no bloody tea-towels.

Might they be with the kitchen rolls, which are, in some ways, a bit like disposable tea-towels, after all? No, they might not.

After a good ten minutes of staring at the same shelves again and again, convinced that this must be the right place but that I was stupidly looking right through the things, I resorted to asking a passing member of staff. He had some considerable trouble finding them himself, first finding a manager who told him that they no longer stocked tea-towels, just seconds before actually finding them.

They were at the far end of the shop from all the other kitchen cloth products, with the cafetieres. Of course.

Admittedly, it is true that one might use a tea-towel on a cafetiere. But the same could be said of axes and Tesco's shop layout design staff, and they don't keep them together.

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