Wednesday 27 February 2013

Interesting human dynamic going on in the supermarket today.

Dropped in to pick up some essentials.
Stopped by the "mixers" aisle.
And was gob smacked.
My smack was gobbed so completely I nearly fainted.
Two people had filled a trolley to over flowing with every single bottle of Tonic Water on the shelves.
I wasn't alone in looking like I'd just been hit in the face with a fish.
Quite a few people had storm clouds over their heads.

You put items in your cart.
Until you pay for them they still 'technically' belong to the supermarket.
So it should be perfectly ok to go up to someones cart and simply take things from it.
Except it's not.
Why not?

Because it breaks some deep inbuilt rule we have about social behaviour.
So a group of people watched the pair struggle to get their cart to the checkout.
The thunderous looks would have done Wotan and Thor proud.
And I thought: "Ah. So this is why Assault Rifles are illegal in Australia."

Disgusted with myself at not saying: "Oi? WTF? You pricks!" I turned away.
Especially since I actually intended to get some tonic water.

At the end of the aisle I noticed some "DIET" tonic water.
"Oh lord no," I thought, "I'm reduced to this."
But Ben noticed a 'normal' bottle at the back.
We pushed aside some bottles and to our amazement there were four bottles of "normal" tonic water.
I grabbed them.
And covered them with sliced cheese and milk bottles.

We made our way to the checkout.
Seriously you would need a machete to cut the air.
The hatred and anger flowing from the people around this tonic water pair was palpable.
Now I know that only a few of them were likely to actually be buying tonic water.
But these two were blissfully unaware of the hundreds of daggers and muttered oaths.
They went through, paid and left.
The air tasted of cordite.
I really felt like if anyone noticed my four bottles I'd be hung, drawn and quartered.
Or in the US, riddled with bullets.

But it got me thinking about Altruistic Punishment.
Google it.
Oh and Sociopaths.
Most examples apply to cyclists, but I think this fits.

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