You know the scenario… There you are, happily minding your own business at the supermarket, digging around in the yellow label section in the hope of finding tonight’s supper, reduced to clear, when that irritating, greedypants who’s been hovering in the background, rams your heels with her trolley, elbows her way to the front and grabs all six packs of the prime salmon fillet you were reaching for.
You give her a withering look – to which she’s totally oblivious – and, whilst you’re otherwise engaged with trying to convey your utter disdain for her rude and arrogant behaviour, she’s cleared out the remaining decent bargains, leaving you with scrag end cutoffs of nameless deli meats and a chocolate dessert in a crushed box to choose from.
Then the fun starts, because – as you make your way through the rest of the store, inevitably it seems, your paths are fated to cross, over and over again. Each aisle you turn into, she’s there in front of you; you put on a brief spurt of speed, miss out the pasta aisle and take a diversion down to the cat food – even though you don’t own a cat – and then, as you sprint past the Toilet Duck, there she is… coming at you from behind the opposite gondola. No matter what you try, you know fate has stepped in – you’ve synchronised, and there’s nothing you can do about it!
Now resigned to what you know is about to happen next, you nevertheless hold back, loitering with intent just out of checkout range… seeing no sign of your adversary, you make a break for it, triumphantly arriving at the checkout without a hitch. And then it happens: That familiar pain as a trolley collides with your heel. She’s behind you, carelessly shoving your shopping along the belt as she loads up all those cut-price bargains that should have been yours!
Of course, she’s parked next to you in the car park – it stands to reason; why should the horror stop at the shop doorway?
So much for RL, but at least we’re spared that nightmare scenario in SL… well, aren’t we? Not if you’re me! Many times now, I’ve found myself in a similar position inworld, most frequently when I’m working my way through a hunt. At first, nothing seems out of the ordinary, but then it happens: Usually it’s one of those avatars that seems incapable of walking, preferring instead to run at breakneck speed everywhere, scattering people in their wake and – if you happen to be in their flightpath – knocking you out of their way without even an attempt at an apology.
You pick, yourself up, dust yourself down, mutter a few pointed expletives and carry on with the serious business of hunting, then it’s off to the next destination… and, of course, she’s there waiting for you, blundering around and generally being obnoxious. After this happens a few times, you arrive at each location with a sense of dread that you’ll see that familiar name pop up on the screen either when you touch down, or shortly after arrival, and you just can’t shake her. Nerves beginning to fray, you skip the next few stops and breathe a sigh of relief when she’s not there when you land – but a few moments of bliss, then suddenly, she’s there again… how the hell did she catch up?
If it’s not ‘running woman’ following you around, it’s ‘sleazy guy’ who thinks you’re reverse stalking him by crossing his path more than once, sending you offers that you’d rather not have and suggesting what lingerie you might like to model for him. It’s people like him that have driven me to doing some hunts in reverse order.
Whilst the nature of hunts can lead to this kind of pan-Grid persecution, it’s happened to me on other occasions too… people have randomly chosen the same places to be as myself, even after a quick TP to another destination; or I’ve walked around stores trailing a ‘shadow’ who seems to want to look at the same clothes as me at the same time and practically pushing me out of the way to do so. I’ve teleported away to escape people, only to have them magically reappear moments after I’ve returned to the scene of the crime some time later… sometimes I think I’m cursed, believe me!
In the real world, there is – of course – the ultimate solution: online shopping, and you’re no doubt thinking that I could save myself all this inworld angst by staying away from stores and doing my SL shopping on the Marketplace in much the same manner, but it’s just not the same, so I guess I’m stuck with it… There are times that SL is just a little too much like the real thing!
I’m all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality
The Clash – Lost In The Supermarket