Tuesday, December 27, 2011


So it begins with you finding a car park.  “Excuse me?  Are you leaving?” you say to the poor harassed looking lady exiting the shopping centre. She nods but she’s clearly a little pissed. She wants to walk back to her car at a leisurely pace and preferably NOT harrassed by the family in the 4x4 that  appear to be rampant weirdos.

You, by the way, have been left no choice other than to car park stalk after driving around the 5 stories of concrete megaplex carparking 28 times. To effectively car park stalk one must find their unsuspecting prey emerging from the automatic doors. They are often laughing jovially with their partner, arms full of newly purchased goods, reminiscing about their shopping expedition, laughing at an in-joke.  

Meanwhile you and yours are willing to either pay them good money to guarantee they will allow you, and only you, access to their car space when they leave or alternatively, just take them out. Again, to do this, you mush HARRASS THE SHIT OUT OF THEM the minute eye contact is made.

As it turned out, this Boxing Day, 2011, we didn’t have to stalk down anyone. We attempted to, oh we did, but it appeared that almost everyone had already been hunted. We would have been stalking the stalkers. There is no AVO in the land that could handle this level of shit.

So we wandered and we wandered and I was probably, oh, 2 seconds away from saying “Screw this, let’s go home” when outta nowhere, a couple in a ute shot out in front of us and bam, we were in.

And  so begins the Boxing Day Challenge.

See, if it had been my choice, I probably would not have 
chosen today, the busiest day in the retail world, to go shopping. But I had three children who had both money and gift vouchers burning a hole in the their pockets and I was coerced into it, with the promise of coffee and lemon slice. 

First stop – Myer. And this apostrophuck. 

Hey Myer, perhaps less cash on Jen Hawkins and more on sub-editors Hmmm??

Anyhoo, because the kids were generously given a fair bit in vouchers, the majority in Myer, this was our first port of call. Wait, no, our first port of call was the toilet. Visit one of one hundred and one. This was a text I sent to my husband during one of the stops. (Apparently we live in different hemispheres, hence the texts)

Me: Maddie in toilet AGAIN

Him: OK.

Me: (5 minutes later) She’s still in there. Doing a shit. FFS

Him: OK

Me: (5 more minutes later) She’s missing

Him: OK

Me: (5 minutes later) Don’t panic, stop looking I found her.

Him: Ok.

See!  What a joyous and funfilled occasion for all the family.

I digress.

Soooo, we make it into Myer, kids can find not one thing they want. Maddie, being older, starts to negotiate with the younger two, offering them $30 in cash for $50 in Myer Credit. Boys aren’t buying. Cue full scale war.

It's around then we decide we need lunch first. Add two more hours to the jurnee....

Right. Back to our mission. After consuming a coke spider, Jack is Karate chopping his way through the teeming masses and then Phil remembers, wait, ‘I need some decent pants for the cricket tomorrow’ because he was going into the members or some such thing. And as he went on a culling bender when we left Queensland, he didn’t actually own anything nice any more. So he lined up for FORTY-FIVE minutes to try on two pairs of pants that DID NOT FIT. 

Meantime I am making threats through gritted teeth at Jack who insists on sniffing ladies as they sit next to him in the shoe department and telling them they “Smell awfully nice”.
So, no pants. No money spent.  It’s roughly 3pm.  I’m hungry again but more to the point, need recaffeinating.  This is probably not a real word. I no longer care, I just need to get away from rude people and over perky sales assistants who are using their passive aggressive nice-nice approach to guilt me out of stealing their stuff.  Which is tempting seeing as the line-up to purchase anything is about 25 deep.

We make our way to every large department store in the centre.  All to no avail.  Why is it that when kids have no cash to spend they see 1,000 things they want, but when the place is positively bursting with millions of shopping Zombies and they are cashed up, they can find nothing?  Surely there a science behind this?

So we double our way back to our original destination. Myer.  We then proceed to spray each other with rank smelling perfumes in a game I like to call, immaturity.  It’s been passed down from generation to generation and on a day like this, it fits in nicely.  No one is watching and we are BEYOND caring.

Maddison picks out some celebrity  perfume package, the boys end up with Lego and a Wii game and we pack into the industrial sized lift to take us back to our car.  It’s 5pm.  And I think I have just added a new  New Years Resolution to the list. Boxing Day Sales are to be avoided. Forever. 

Oh.  And Phil did eventually find fancy pants.  But he didn’t wear them to the cricket today. Let's never discuss this again.


Ms_MotorbikeNut said...

Usually try to avoid the boxing day sales but if we have to go usually catch a bus that way there is no car park stalking for us.

With most gift cards etc lasting 12 months or more we tell youngest daughter A, that she will have to wait till Middle of January to go buy something with them that way we don't have to fight crowds and she is happy with that.

(((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
Great post! You are much braver than me - we went today for about an hour and then left! We contemplated the movies but couldn't face the crowds!

Hope all is going well in Melbourne :)

Nicole McLachlan said...

Very hard for me to get past the apostrophuck. May need to boycott Myer on the strength of it.

You have totally captured the spirit of the Boxing Day Sales - and you are far braver than this little black duck. x

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I adore Are you Bein Served series! Bloody Brilliant.

So true about Boxing Day Sales but I can only stomach going back to the shops after New Year.

River said...

There's that wandering apostrophe again! Sticking its nose in where it doesn't belong.

Boxing Day sales are to be avoided. There are plenty of better sales throughout the year. Collect the sales catalogues and have your kids choose their purchases before hitting the stores. Mot gift cards are good for 24 months! Check the fine print on the attached card.
Parking will be easier then too.

Benison said...

River, you sound far too organised. Are you sure you're real?

Love how you can take a crap time and make it so funny, Bern. A real gift.

There is a certain Westfield in Sydney which I won't name - okay I will,Burwood - which has the worst designed car park in the world. Getting in is bad enough but getting out is impossible. It can take hours and provoke car park rage incidents. I almost witnessed a punch up once! Last year on Boxing Day we had a BBQ to go to at 6pm and I literally had to abandon the car in the car park, and call my husband to pick me up. I then returned at midnight after the BBQ to retrieve my car up! Needless to say I went to the pub this year instead.

Benison said...

Or I should say 'retrieve my car'. I hate typos. Myer. you've been warned.

Hotly Spiced said...

You are very brave, heading out to the Boxing Day sales. My children were given plenty of vouchers also but I told the older two they could take themselves to the shops and as for the little guy, well we'll just go when the parking and the stress and the crowds are a little easier to bear.

Faybian said...

I love going to Myers and indiscriminately spraying 50 different perfumes on myself. Now all my girls do it, while my son (if he's with me starts sneezing) its the best part of the store.

MaidInAustralia said...

Why do kids always need to poo in public smelly toilets? As for Boxing and New Year sales, I boycott the lot. Only because I have experienced pretty much the above with different partner and kids. Minus the apostrophuck which would almost have made it worthwhile. Happy New Year Bern x

Thea said...

Oh, you have just confirmed everything I ever thought was true about Boxing Day sales...and this is why I have never been...and never will!! lol