Shop 'til you droop

I realised as the pace quickened from the carpark late December last year that I was heading towards something bigger than a Hollywood blockbuster - the Boxing Day sales.

We took two cars this time so if things got unbearable, I'd have an out. Just like in The Matrix, minus any sense of being the chosen one.

The night before in the pre-mission meeting about which megaplex we were going to hit, my team made it clear they were prepared to do whatever it took to find whatever it was they weren't sure they were looking for, even if it took 10 hours not to find it.

The search would dwarf the Malcolm Naden manhunt in terms of determination, and judging by the twitching faces at day's end, concluded with as much success.

The second car was fallback in case I decided to bail and go play golf. As if that was ever in doubt.

It didn't matter it was blowing a gale outside that day.

Nothing Mother Nature could throw up would compare to the tempest I imagined going on inside the shopping centre. And how right I was.

That's not to say I wasn't desperate for undies and a few new T-shirts myself - a fact acknowledged in pre-match monologues.

"If you want to exorcise your clothing demons, you're gonna have to man up," I was told.

In a lot of bikini shops, as it turned out.

That's OK. I was supporting my family in what has become a valid recreational activity these days - deranged shopping frenzies.

Oh for a good ole game of horseshoe.

Having said that, it's impressive watching the masters at work sniffing out bargains.

Not unlike drug beagles.

Unfortunately, if my attitude to shopping, particularly in bikini shops, is any benchmark for consumer confidence, Australia's economy is, to paraphrase John Maynard Keynes, "rooted".

It's not that I don't know what I want.

It's just that I think I'd look better in a one-piece.

Meanwhile team members draped garments over me as the temperature round the racks rose.

Why we wore clothes at all I'll never know. Technically, some of those bathers didn't warrant the description.

It was great, nonetheless, making like a statue being pooped on by undies and bras.

The Ibiza-style in-house music added to the nightclub atmosphere.

A few drugs wouldn't have gone astray, actually. Oxycontin's good for pain management I understand.

Anything to deal with the fitting-room anxiety. Modern megaplexes have carparks the size of small towns, yet the

I realised why they call it Boxing Day sales. By the time I got away I felt beat up.

change rooms resemble phone booths. They should be the size of aviation hangars.

The sense people were missing out on specials as they lined up was palpable.

After three hours making like a mannequin, I moved on to a different form of consuming - the food hall.

Jam-packed by this time with a crowd verging on Boxing Day Test proportions.

A hub of hungry humanity humming with all the joie de vivre of a Liberian birth ward.

And still an afternoon of shopping ahead.

Not for me, though. The lengthy queue for my lunch was the last one I needed to go play golf.

And as I headed to the strategically placed second car I realised why they call it the Boxing Day sales.

By the time I got away, I felt pretty beat up.

What is your worst shopping experience?

Blog with Simon at

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide