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"Shopping Trip"

Your friendly supermarket is out to get you, 
using consumer psychology to turn your inner self against you. 

Shoppers are hypnotized
by kaleidoscopic aisles of colorful displays,
confusing labels, tie-in sales, mark downs and mark ups,
miracle ingredients, background music, coupons, and more. 

They print labels that would give a computer a hernia,
and then with hidden cameras,
the market researchers measure your frustration
by the frequency of your eye blinks. 

Packages of certain colors and shapes appeal subliminally
to basic, often sexual, motivations
which are nobody’s business but your own.

They offer items in groups,
like eight packs, giant sizes, and so on,
knowing you probably won’t break the pack.

Isn’t it strange how cookies and ice cream topping
are accidentally placed next to the diet foods? 

They want the checkout lanes to move slowly
so you have time for last minute lures
of magazines, candy, and key rings with your name on them. 

The cashier,
who never makes a mistake in your favor,
feeds your earnings into the cash drawer,
maybe reciting “How are you today”,
but not making eye contact. 

You get a receipt with a printed “Thank you”. 

The term shopping “trip”
has taken on new meaning. 

Copyright © July 30, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. 


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