I needed to buy a really vile shirt for a murder mystery dinner character costume and, as you will see, LuLu did not disappoint.
LuLu, for those not in the know, is an Indian supermarket chain that can be found all over the Middle East (well, the parts I have been to, in any case).
It’s bedlam on a Friday evening, chockablock with migrant labourers and extended sub-continental families blocking the aisles with their shopping trollies and pretending they don’t know what a queue is when it comes to getting vegetables weighed.
Midweek, however, LuLu can be quite sedate and gave me a pleasant enough time browsing through some very unpleasant garments.
What I eventually chose was truly revolting. Not even H.P. Lovecraft could adequately convey the horror of the shirt, try though he might. I won’t even try. I’ll just let you look at the pictures:
|It actually looks much worse than this in real life|
|Taken on its own, this might be considered jaunty|
|But as one of 7 or 8 clashing panels…|
Even though I was buying it just for a laugh, I still felt deeply ashamed as I waited in line at the upstairs tills.
While waiting, however, I was intrigued by a poster advertising LuLu’s festival of British foodstuffs, called “Food is Great Britain”.
What I discovered was the biggest display of Union Jack bunting I have personally seen since the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, together with all those products that truly put the ‘Great’ into ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Overseas Territories’:
|If they did this back home, it’d be banned by the council for racialism. Probably.|
|She only looks unimpressed because she’s overwhelmed|
- Quaker Oats (pretty sure they’re American, actually)
- Carr’s Table Water Biscuits (not as good as Cream Crackers, but an essential cheese accompaniment for the aspirational middle classes)
- Chocolate Bourbons AND Jammie Dodgers
- Tunnock’s Caramel wafer biscuits (last seen in a school packed lunch circa 1986)
The background is an entire wall of Sharwoods’ ready made curry sauces, proving it’s not just the British who can’t be arsed with cooking.
But the biggest thrill came when I rounded the corner, to realise the end of EVERY aisle had been transformed into a shrine to all that is Great about Britain(‘s food industry).
So, through the prism of an Indian conglomorate’s satellite store in Oman, working to appeal to a diverse bunch of Omanis, Indians, Filippinos, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and the odd European, here is the VERY BEST of BRITISH:
|I don’t think anyone would seriously argue with this one|
|Cup a fucking soup, Britain. That’s what the world thinks of you|
|And yet more soup. A bit posher, this time. But soup, nevertheless.|
And what more could anyone want, really, after all the crisps and crackers and soup, than a nice big British shit, followed by a wipe of the arse on a puppy-soft roll of Andrex?
(Despite the packaging, dogs don’t actually use Andrex. On the few occasions they can be bothered to wipe, they do so by dragging themselves across the carpet.)