Aldi supermarkets are hilarious. They’re German precision meets not giving a fuck and I am super into it.
Pallets of eerily familiar budget products are wheeled out for us to scoop and heave into our coin operated trolleys. There are items to bamboozle the most cavalier of thriftsters, like home brand power tools, white goods, jumbo televisions, children’s camping sets, musical instruments and lookalike iPads for next to nothing.
I discovered Aldi in uni because they sold $24 slabs (one dollar beers = YES PLEASE) and recently rediscovered it – again thanks to beer. A slab of 500ml Karlskrone Lager cans costs $40, the same price as VB but with eight extra cans.
While Karlskrone doesn’t taste phenomenal and gives my housemate horrific hangovers, I like the jumbo can because it looks like a 40 ounce beer that gangster rappers drink. I very much enjoy bragging about my ‘forty’ at parties and although they’re actually a lot less than 40 ounces I’m yet to be pulled up on it.
The other thing that’s great about Aldi stores is their underground parking – free for the first hour. I revelled in this fact last week while driving through the long carpark, around the bend and up the ramp to the parking boom gate, smug with my bootload of booze and biscuits.
It was such a great afternoon that I barely flinched when the boomgate machine told me I’d been over an hour and needed to pay $3 – just casually fumbled for my credit card. But then the machine spat out my credit card.
[Please put card in with strip on bottom right.] [Please try again.] [Please put card in with strip on bottom right.] [Please try again.] [Please return to manual pay station.] Please fuck yourself.
The inconvenience I can handle, I’d gladly be slapped in the face for eight hours rather than complain, but the line of cars banking up behind me really made shit start to get real. I pushed the help button a few times to no avail before deciding to engage the situation head on.
Me to soccer mum behind me: “Can you please move down? The machine isn’t taking my credit card and I’m stuck.”
Soccer mum behind me: “No way – there’s someone behind me.”
Me to soccer mum behind soccer mum behind me: “Can you please move down? The machine isn’t taking my credit card and I’m stuck.”
Soccer mum behind soccer mum behind me: “No way – there’s someone behind me. Try the help button.”
There was now a long line of soccer mums flat out refusing to move backward, despite the fact that my car was clearly not going anywhere. They were prepared to die in that parking lot rather than get involved in my problem.
After hammering the help button two or three hundred thousand more times to no avail I realized that things were not getting better. I was literally in the worst situation any human being has ever, and will ever be in. The soccer mums weren’t going to help me and no one was answering the help phone.
There was but one man that could end the destruction, one man that could stand the wrath of forty soccer mums, one man with the speed to rival a 14 year old girl with Bieber fever on payday.
I took one last almighty sigh before I flicked on my hazard lights, grabbed my wallet and parking card and started running like never before. Head down as I rounded the bottom of the ramp, I was greeted by a long line of cars and made it all the way to the main building propelled only by shame.
I geared down as I approached the machine, parking card in my left hand and coins in my right, thrusting the parking card toward the machine.
But it didn’t fit.
It wasn’t my parking card. It was my Officeworks printing card. My parking card was still on the front seat of my car.
“OHGOD CANYOU HELPME MY CAR’S STUCK AT THEBOOMGATE IT’SANEMERGENCY CANYOUGETMY CAR OUT UUEEEERRRGH,” I gasped at the trolley girl nearby.
She couldn’t help me, of course she couldn’t help me.
“No you’ll need to ask the security guard or the bin attendant…”
“Can YOU ask the security guardorthebinattendantthere’s allthesepeoplewaitingand…”
“Is the boomgate broken? What exactly is…”
I started running. I couldn’t explain the Officeworks card to her and I couldn’t waste another five minutes hearing all the reasons why she couldn’t help me. I just ran.
Every car in the line must exhaled when they saw me running back through the carpark and up the ramp to my car, setting their rage aside to celebrate the end of the ordeal before giving over to complete bemusement as they saw me run BACK down the ramp again.
By this stage the line of cars was out of control. I prayed that my face was disguised by a blur of speed as I sprinted all the way back to the machine and back to my car – fully expecting it to be engulfed in flames.
There was no time for celebration or podcasts or sunglasses or indicating or seatbelts or headchecks as I shoved the card in the boomgate machine and screeched out before I was lynched.
So how does this make me awesome? It doesn’t really. I’m just proud I didn’t shit my pants.
- Being organised: 5/10 (down from 6/10)
- Liquor cabinet: 4/10 (up from 0/10)