To the bemused and somewhat attractive gentleman who eyed me curiously in the utility aisle at SPAR when I broke out into a sort of aggressive jazz dance in front of the matches and selected a new box with every energetic twirl and swirl, let me explain.
I live in Greendale, and our side of town seems to be home to 67% of Harare's hoarders, and is also so far from everything that grocery store chains sometimes forget that they even have branches here, so they don't stock them.
And so, I have not been able to find matches on this side of town for several weeks. I did spot a lonely abandoned box in Bon Marche a few days ago, but the woman marching down the aisle towards it moved like a lioness with such grievous intent that I laughed nervously and went to hide in the biscuit aisle.
Cue an odyssey across town to Borrowdale, land of plenty, where the milk and honey (but not the water) never run dry! Even the oxygen is cleaner in Borrowdale. When there was an eggidemic last year, all of us plebs living on the outskirts spent our data bundles begging Zimviners to tell us where we could find eggs in our areas, and the Borrowdale dwellers all said the same thing, "We've always got eggs!"
Until the rest of the city came swarming like a bunch of squeamish weasels, salivating and demanding more than the rationed one crate of eggs per customer.
Anyway, so I knew if there was one place I'd find matches, it had to be Borrowdale, and I was not disappointed. I walked through the inviting entrance, a sophisticated song played on the expensive and well positioned speakers, even the children behaved like they'd all just come out of finishing school. I went straight to the utility aisle half expecting it to be empty of products but filled with aggressive shoppers bun fighting, but all I saw was shelves laden with an abundance of every type of product and a few well dressed customers picking up items without checking the price and serenely placing them into their trolleys.
When I saw the 541 boxes of Lion matches, I knew the fuel had been worth it.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when I started dancing, and now, kind sir who watched me with ill-masked curiosity, you know what caused me to leave my dignity at the door and praise the cosmic entities above for their benevolence.
Good people, and good shrews, prepare for a gentle rant in my next post,
The Inscrutable Shrew