The following piece is a work of fantasy and relates to a mythical discount supermarket known here as DALI. Like the work of the artist who shares the same name, the concepts described are whimsical notions which have no basis in fact.
I love DALI for a lot of the wrong reasons and several practical, economic and convenient reasons. I love that you’re supposed to be so prepared for a trip to DALI, but you rarely are. I never have bags, a $2 coin for the trolley or the mental and athletic dexterity to deal with the break neck speed at which items are hurled through the register.
I’m paying for my sins, rather than saving the planet, by forking out 15c for the reusable plastic bags, which in fairness never get used again. I could start my own DALI, I have so many bags.
I remember when DALI was new and we were just getting to know each other. Invariably, I’d sneak in under the cover of darkness and skulk around marvelling at all the exotic biscuits, weird condiments and the ski gear.
We’d receive tips from other secret DALI fanciers. Apparently, the free-range chicken and salmon fillets were very keenly priced. We bought socket sets, slippery when wet signs and truffle salt. How good is truffle salt? Our cat even liked the cat food. We wouldn’t take the catalogue at the register, but God help us if we ever stumbled across one just lying about.
We progressed from salmon and chicken shopping to being converts within a very short period of time. My wife had one of the trolley tags on her key ring, every work van and car was stuffed full of reusable bags. I’d still forget to take either tag or bags, but we were becoming as one with all things DALI.
We learnt as we shopped. I learnt to catch the washing powder as it flew off the register before it ended up on top of the tomatoes and the yoghurt. There was no time for a dedicated refrigerated items bag. Fruit and veg appeared randomly along the conveyer belt, the check-out bloke having to weigh something, often our only respite from drowning in a sea of chicken wings and washing up liquid.
We learnt that DALI was very good at some things, but not so good at others. The mint shower gel, smelt more like a mojito than anything you should bathe in. The underwater chainsaw, whilst a nice idea, was probably more impulse purchase than anything else. We learnt never to go to DALI on ‘specials’ day. Being run down by an old bloke on a scooter with a 54 inch TV under each arm is not something that anyone should have to put up with.