The Hunting of the Snark


A garden centre takes the theme a bit too far

Filed under: Snarky — Jeremy Irish @ 22:17
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Recently, my wife and I visited Dobbie’s Garden World in Livingston. I think that branch was opened very recently. And you could tell it was brand-new! The floor was clean, the layout was modern, and the gents’ had something I’d never seen before in my life:

A row of urinals, several of which are shaped and coloured like flowers

So glad there was nobody else there

I would say they must be ‘flower pots’.

– The Snark



Letter to Asda – opening hours

Filed under: Snarky — Jeremy Irish @ 07:00
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Bishop Auckland

Attn: Customer Services

Dear sir or madam

I am having difficulty learning the opening hours of your Bishop Auckland location.

There is no question that the shop closes sometime on Sunday evening, and then on Monday morning it does not open until sometime after 7:30—that’s when I tried to buy milk one time. (I am surprised that Asda apparently does not start the week any earlier than the Morrisons across the street, which opens at 8:00.)

At any rate, the only information posted is the signs that say, in white writing on red circles six feet in diameter, ’24 hours’.

As that notation is obviously incomplete, I would be grateful if you could forward me a full schedule for this branch to the address above.

Yours faithfully

Jeremy Irish


Does everyone really have to stick with 9-5?

Filed under: Snarky — Jeremy Irish @ 07:00
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Half of Bishop Auckland’s businesses shut down no later than 5:00. The other half don’t really get going until, say, 8:00—there are about as many gambling parlours as bakeries, with roughly the same number of pubs. (Charity shops are up there, too.)

What always gets to me is: If everyone works a 9-5 shift, and the smaller shops are only open in that same window, who exactly is supposed to shop there? There’s a disconnect. It doesn’t seem to work in the modern world.

It’s no wonder the bigger companies survive better; prices aren’t the whole story.

Mom and Pop need to work out some sort of time-share arrangement. Clothing store attendants go do their banking after work, and then the teller joins them for dinner at a quaint restaurant, whose waitress bought a new pair of shoes that morning. That kind of thing.

Of course, in some places, I know that there are external forces that render common sense impossible. In Northern Ireland, when we lived there, a retail business was restricted on Sundays to opening between 1:00 and 6:00, if the floor area exceeded a certain square footage (square metrage?). So their ‘wee’ competitors had a potential advantage, but it didn’t get exercised very often.

Call me crazy, but I think moving away from this lockstep tendency would also improve traffic.

– The Snark

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