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OnDitmagazine ― columnists

Elizabeth Flux

There is a spider on my ceiling, strategically positioning itself to drop onto my face whilst I sleep. Options? ‘Squishedness’ or ‘Catch and Release’. The former: potentially leads to bad karma, spider mob retaliation and/or dead arachnid in my bed. The latter: gives rise to possible future highpitched squeals and hiding in the shower... followed by recollection of the shower scene in Psycho and rapid escape, only to realise that horror movies have ruined all hiding places ever. Also mirrors. Small things can be rather more than mildly scary, whether they be eight legged creatures, changing lanes in busy traffic, getting caught watching Benjamin Bear, or bumping into a vague acquaintance who stops after the initial greeting and proceeds to initiate ‘The Generic Conversation’. Essentially, after “Hi, it’s been so long” it becomes a volley of “ohhhh”, “ahh?” and “really”, before excuses are made, and goodbyes are bade. Rhyming fail. However, in my opinion the grand master of small scares is ‘Mother With Pram’. Self-proclaimed ruler of all pavements, adorned with cardi and stern expression, society be DAMNED (prammed?) if you get in their path. Prepare your knees for a mild beating, as they WILL ram you. Anyway, the point is that life is filled with a whole bunch of mini scares (plus a few more if you’re neurotic) which, in certain places and situations, converge to create a scare much larger than the sum of the individual components. This is why walking down the aisle - supermarket style - is what should scare one the most. There are three stages of supermarket shopping: the Journey, the Browse and the Purchase. The Journey basically involves the drive, with a mild side dish of fretting over your clothing.

People like being overdressed for the supermarket about as much as they enjoy Miley Cyrus – some like it, but they’ll be promptly scorned by those who don’t. Pram wielding mothers are most commonly encountered in the browsing stage, alongside thoughts of “OH NOES what if it looks like I’m shoplifting” and “I’ve wrongly chosen a basket and now it is too late to get a trolley”. Other gems you might encounter include “I’ve knocked a product over, and now people are watching me retrieve it” and “there is a trolley in front of the item I need. Should I wait this out or risk asking a stranger to move?” Choosing the second option, you are usually rewarded with either mutual embarrassed awkwardness, invariably ending in someone’s foot being run over, or are put on the receiving end of a hearty scowl. Finally, before it all draws to a close, there is the purchase stage. You have thirteen items, some of which may be mildly awkward in nature, whilst the remainder consists of junkfood, stationary, and for some reason, metallic balloons. You place them on the conveyor belt, carefully distanced from the previous customer’s, lest there be mixed item confusion. The cashier turns to you, looks down at your items. Her eyes fill with scorn, and in that moment, you know. You are being judged. Before becoming severely decashed, you think... what if I didn’t bring enough monies? But you did. What you didn’t bring was a reusable bag. 15c is the cost of a hasty fleeing. Finally, it is over. Until you run out of artichokes.

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On Dit Magazine: Volume 78, Issue 1  

On Dit Magazine is a fortnightly Australian student magazine with an emphasis on exceptional writing, photography, and illustration.

On Dit Magazine: Volume 78, Issue 1  

On Dit Magazine is a fortnightly Australian student magazine with an emphasis on exceptional writing, photography, and illustration.