AS I tucked into a predictably bland supermarket satsuma – described on the packaging as ‘sweet and juicy’ – the cogs of my mind starting spinning.
I imagined a parallel universe where everyone felt morally obliged to be completely honest.
It was a world where fibbing, distortion and spin didn’t exist.
In this world I pictured myself driving to the supermarket.
On the way I passed a petrol station. A sign in the forecourt read: “Our prices are more expensive than our competitors because we’re greedier than they are.”
I passed the petrol station and drove into the supermarket car park where I parked up and strolled into the store through the automatic double doors.
The first thing to greet me was a sign.
“Manager’s special,” it read. “Four beers for slightly less than they cost last week.”
I walked past the sign and into the fruit and veg aisle to pick up a bag of tangerines.
“Sour, insipid and under ripe” the label attached to the bag explained.
Feeling particularly lazy that evening I headed for the ready-meals fridge and picked up a chicken biryani.
The print on the box described it thus: “Bland battery chicken and glutinous rice scantly covered in a few spices and artificial ingredients, not made to an authentic Indian recipe.”
In the bakery section I selected a loaf with a label attached that read: “Dry as hot sand but it lasts for ages” and a four-pack of beers emblazoned with the warning: “Causes liver rot but gets you drunk.”
Finally I grabbed a new type of toothbrush attached to which was the description: “No different from our previous toothbrushes but it looks cooler.”
I paid up and was about to empty my basket into a bag when I realised I hadn’t brought one with me. “Can I have a plastic bag, please?” I asked.
“Sure,” replied the checkout assistant, “Were you too lazy or too forgetful to bring your own?”