Volume 2 , Number 10
Nov , 1997
... and Checking it Twice...
by Fiona Jane
We're sick, you know. Not just you and I, the whole world... we've gone list CRAZY. If you don't believe me, just enter the word `lists' in a search engine and see how many entries you find. I used AltaVista and came up with 1,285,639. Unbelievable.
I mean, in business I understand what they're used for. If it's the best or most popular or highest selling it equals dollars; thousands of millions of them. If it is the worst or poorest performing it means pissed off shareholders, again numbering in their thousands. The numerical ranking just means (and yes, I'm paraphrasing here) ha ha or boo hoo.
The people that take notice of these lists are the laggards in consumer innovation, they're the ones that buy the third hand Volvo 20 years after its release because they finally believe that it's one of the world's safest cars. The kind of people that wear flares in the 90's, because not many people got lynched last time they were in fashion. I know that the saying goes along the lines of safety in numbers, but I think some people take it too far.
Anyway, before I get too worked up ranting about lists, I'd better let you know that I still use them, and challenge anybody to refute that they do, too.
Shopping without a grocery list turns into chaos, trust me, I know. Trusting (stupidly) in my powers of recollection, I traipsed off gaily to the supermarket to do my monthly shopping. I felt wonderfully relaxed as I wandered through the aisles popping in whatever I thought was necessary without frantic references to a list.
I felt vastly superior to all those rats whom, upon reaching the checkout, realised that "aaaaaargh, we didn't get the gari... run honey, ruuuuuun!!" `Honey' would then bolt through every aisle as though the very hounds of hell were after her. I mean who knows what damnation would result if they forgot to buy the pickled ginger! I must admit I snickered, and may have even hindered Honey's progress through the aisles by way of an inconveniently angled trolley, but don't worry, I got mine. Oh yes, I did.
I completed my mountain load of shopping, and took a cab home. Once I had lumbered it all into the kitchen I began to unpack - and promptly discovered why Honey's hubby was so meticulous about buying everything on the list they had drawn up when they audited at home.
I didn't have toilet paper, but I did have marshmallows (not the absorbent kind, let me assure you). I couldn't clean my windows, but I could make a enchanting tinned spaghetti collage on them. The cat had no dry food, but she did have a lovely herbal facial mask to really cleanse her pores and make her fur shine like the sea. Just what we both needed!
It was too late to return to the supermarket, so I vowed to return the following morning and settled down into a listless sleep. Honey and her hubby were in my dream that night, buffeting me with their trolleys in time to Lizst as they screamed "Ruuunnn you've forgotten your list again. Ruuuunnn!" I'll never do it again.
Basically what I'm trying to say is, sure you can live comfortably with lists in you life, just don't let them rule you. Write down the names of all the people you want to invite to your party but don't get upset if their RSVP's arrive in a different numerical preference order, and don't ever get to the stage where you're compiling your List of Lists.
Well, I'd better go, this was only the third task on today's list but remember... from now it's no longer the Commandments, but God's Top 10 as played by DJ Moses.