C3 Tips     










Rural Shopping

By Gaynor Bowden, Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

In a city super market
I once heard a woman moan,
"I am sick and tired of shopping
'cos I do it on my own."
Well I felt like saying, "Lady,
would you like to come with me.
When you've tried some rural shopping
you won't whinge, I'll guarantee!"
First, the ute needs oil and water,
then I fuel it at the pump,
clean the junk from the cab and traytop
and offload it at the dump.
Then just driving to the township
takes a rally driver's skill.
Muddy winter roads are slippery.
Summer gravel roads can kill.
Now the grocery shopping's simple.
Soon my trolley's packed with gear,
but it's as I reach the checkout
that I hear the words I fear.
"There's a message from your husband.
It appears he's found some weeds.
Can you drive out to the agent
for the chemicals he needs?"
So I lug out all my shopping,
hoisting boxes on the tray.
I'll return to fetch the ice cream
as there's always some delay
At the depot there's a problem
for it seems that stocks are short.
I'm advised to see his rival
who, he's heard, has overbought.
Then he adds there's a message
to collect an ordered part
from the local Holden dealer
as the Commodore won't start.
When I reach the other agent
he's got plenty in his shed
and he loads the drums quite quickly
but he dumps one on my bread!
Next, the dealer has the car part
and I'm nearly out his door
when he calls out, "Here's a message
that your husband left before."
"There's a bearing that is needed
and the number's written down.
You must see the Massey dealer
on the other side of town."
When I get there, they are puzzled
for the number isn't right
and it's no use phoning hubby
as he won't be in 'til night.
So they give me two "on appro".
I'm relieved. My chores are done.
THEN ... they tell me there's a message
to get rivets for my son!
But he doesn't say which hardware
so from shop to shop I roar,
'till I find his flaming order
at the last place out of four!
As I walk out with the package,
there's a note taped on the side.
"On your way home go to the freight yard,
pick up pipes and pesticide."
On arrival, I discover
I must clamber on the back
and shift drums and grocery boxes
to accomodate the stack.
Then the forklift isn't working
and, with only one bloke there,
if I want to get these things loaded
I will have to lift my share.
On the tray, we trip and stumble
Over boxes, pipes and drums.
Plastic bottles lose their contents.
Crunchy cornflakes turn to crumbs.
Well, at dusk, I set off homeward.
Without fail, I hit each bump
and it's then, from the roadside bushes
that a roo decides to jump.
So I brake and swerve to miss it.
This prevents a nasty crash
but, alas, the metal pipe-ends
through the ute's rear window smash!
Then I stop and knock the glass out,
readjust and rope the load.
In the dark I squash tomatoes
but, at last, I hit the road.
In the cab, it's close to freezing
and the chill air prompts a frown
for I've only just remembered
that my ice cream's left in town.
Tired and stressed, I reach the farmhouse,
glass in hair and almost blue,
to be welcomed by my husband,
"I've been waiting. Where were you?"
At this point, things get unpleasant,
so I'll skip just what is said
when he finds the broken window
while I try to salvage bread!
How I wish that city shopper
would appear so she'd be shown
what a rural woman copes with
when she's shopping on her own!

Stock Journal, August 31st, 2000.