Trolley life

There is a group in America called the Procrastination Society which goes around doing things like placing obituaries for Alexander Graham Bell and other long dead types. I've always meant to join but that seemed to defeat the entire purpose which is, of course, never to do anything until not doing it will result in arrest or actual bodily harm. Friends have told me that this is now an official syndrome and that professional help is available. I said I'll add "Get professional help" to the list but that they shouldn't hold their breath since it comes behind such topics as "Reorganise finances in order to be rich by the year 2000". Besides which, I have now got putting things off down to a fine art. For instance, the quality of my procrastination relates exactly to the task to be avoided. Therefore I always know when something is extremely important if I find myself cleaning out the shed at midnight or deciding it is imperative to find all socks that match and group them accordingly.

Given all this you can see why my first reaction to a fax last July from the Direct Line people headlined "The Price of Apathy" was to file it under "A". Then the other day, as I was trying to reorganise my finances in order to be rich by the year 2000, I decided a quick look couldn't hurt. I was wrong. The survey is full of irritations such as the fact that I could save pounds 175 a year by keeping track of small change and pounds 300 by taking food to work.

Even the idea made me feel ill, apathetic even. Then the other day I was standing at the supermarket check-out when the cashier said, "That will be pounds 100." Now the only reaction to such a statement has to be to laugh. Trolley experts say most people haven't a clue how much they spend but I know that I usually spend about pounds 70 and never more than pounds 90. (I always thought this was rather good but now discover the average trolley- load at Safeway is pounds 40.)

Of course I did not laugh at the cashier. Instead I smiled and asked if they took Switch. It was only later, when I remembered the Apathy fax, that I realised further action was required. Evidently two out of three people will stop at nothing to pick up a 50p piece on the ground but almost half of us don't bother to check receipts. Yet one in six supermarket receipts are said to be inaccurate. So I checked and found that I had been charged pounds 10 instead of pounds 1 for something. It was all so exciting that I almost called the Apathy people but decided that on balance it could wait because, let's face it, so many things can.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

    £26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

    £22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions