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October 2001 - Business Plans

I wonder how many of you who read Comment previously, in another place, remember my terrific business plan for making and selling paw clamps for dogs who left nasty things behind in our streets?

Well, I have to report that the venture capital for that particular enterprise was never forthcoming, so I've been forced back to the drawing board to dream up another of my fantastic ideas which will bring the business world flocking to me with money.

This latest scheme is bound to be a success, having been thoroughly researched over a period of many years. Over the last couple of weeks I've been putting the final touches to the plan and I'm now ready to preview it here, before launching it on an unsuspecting bank manager.

What I need from him is the capital to buy an absolutely huge warehouse.

My detailed research tells me that the warehouse can either be in the town centre, or on one of those out-of-town estates beloved by the likes of Homebase, Sainsburys or Comet.

I suspect the building will cost a few pence less, and the business rates will be a bit lower if I go out of town, so that's where I'll be looking first.

I'll also need one or two other items. I'll be needing rather a lot of those partitions like they have in offices so I can break the warehouse up into aisles and give it the general feel of a supermarket.

I'll also need a turnstile and a cash register for the entrance, and lots and lots of supermarket trolleys for the people to take with them as they go round the place and make me loads and loads of money.

Referring back to my research, I reckon I'll charge 20 per person as an entry fee, as that seems to be about what people are willing to pay for entertainment of a similar type elsewhere.

One other possibility I'm giving some consideration to, is to make taking a shopping trolley round optional and charge an extra 5 an hour for them.

I think most people would take up the trolley option as it will make the entertainment much more fun and add to the enjoyment of the place no end.

I might just invest in some of those tiny trolleys for the children to push round as well, but if I do I'll charge 50 an hour for those as the entertainment value is so much higher.

"What on earth" I hear you crying to yourselves, "can he possibly be rambling on about in this month's edition?"

Well I suppose I ought to explain at this point exactly what the subject for in-depth analysis is on this particular occasion. As I told you, I've been researching this one for about thirty years, so you can be certain that I'm on to a winner in this month's edition.

My subject this time is all about satisfying the habitual requirements of shoppus femalus retardus, otherwise known as the thick female shopper.

My warehouse on the edge of town will be totally dedicated to her needs and will satisfy her in every way. And, what's more, there won't be one single thing on sale, so her requirements will be totally catered for without any distractions.

The purpose of my huge warehouse, as most of my male readers who have to regularly shop in supermarkets will have already guessed, is for large groups of shoppus femalus retardus to simply stand around in the aisles and have a gossip.

If they take up my offer of the extra 5 an hour for the trolley, then they can more efficiently block the aisles as they do so.

If they also take up the offer of renting the little trolleys for the children, then their little brats can be six aisles away from their mothers, ramming their trolleys into the shins of other unsuspecting groups of my customers as well.

The little darlings will, of course, be encouraged to scream at the tops of their voices, so nobody in the place can think, let alone talk.

Now, the only flaw I've discovered so far in my great master plan is the lack of anything being on sale.

One option I'm considering is to pin some very interesting notices onto the partitions between the aisles, just to give shoppus femalus retardus something to stand in front of while she chatters, so she can be as inconvenient as possible to those who want to actually read the notices.

After all, in real supermarkets, the silly cows never stand and chat in front of the fitments containing stuff you don't want to buy do they?

Oh no, they're always having their mothers' meetings right in front of the milk, or the frozen chips, or something else you can't leave till next week to save barging your way through the middle of their cosy little group.

During the whole of my thirty years research I've never worked out what it is that can instantly turn someone who went out to do the shopping for herself, into such an ignorant pig that she makes life as intolerable as possible for all those others who left home with the same intention as herself.

When a man goes shopping, he goes to shop, not gossip!

I find it totally impossible to understand why I can be in and out of Safeway in under half an hour and manage to spend over 100, even when I've had to elbow my way to most of the fitments, scattering the chattering members of the female sex to the four winds as I go.

The spending rate of the male in a supermarket must be over 150 an hour, that of the female, under 10.

And why is the female spending rate so low? Because she doesn't get on and shop, that's why! She proceeds at a leisurely pace up the first aisle until she finds another of her species to engage in meaningless conversation.

Half an hour later, having said nothing of any consequence to the other party, she moves on another half aisle and repeats the process.

Three hours later, she picks up one can of corned beef and proceeds to the checkouts, carefully looking out for one being operated by the lady from down her street, so she can hold up even more shoppers by having another chat as she rummages for the odd three pence in the bottom of the coal sack she refers to as a handbag.

No wonder there are checkout queues!

Of course, having only managed to buy one can of corned beef, she'll have to go back again the following day to repeat the process, deleting "corned beef" from the program and replacing it with "toilet paper".

The idea of a once weekly, or even once monthly shop seems to only occur to the male of the species; and you don't need a degree in psychology to work out why.

Fighting your way through the hoards of shoppus femalus retardus is enough to make the average male only want to go shopping once a year; that's why he invented the idea of buying larger quantities and going to the supermarket less often.

If my warehouse idea catches on, then the space created in supermarkets will allow shoppus malus superious to shop more often.

I could even get to like the idea of wandering the aisles looking for new and exotic foods to buy if those aisles were not jammed up solid and it was not impossible to see what you were buying.

I wonder what the bank manager will have to say when I put my proposal to him when I go in. I just hope they haven't replaced him with a woman!

My bet is that the bank will jump at my idea; after all they're the experts in this sort of field.

The banks have first hand experience of the sister breed to shoppus femalus retardus, payus innus femalus retardus, or the lady who insists on taking little Johnny with her to the bank in his push chair, so she can get it all tangled up with the zig-zag queue barrier.

Personally, I reckon I'll have paid off the cost of the warehouse and be into profit in about two months. I don't reckon there's any way this particular business proposal can fail.

If any of you out there want to invest, then drop me a line on the back of a twenty pound note, to the usual address and I'll count you in for the huge returns.

By the way, I've been asked to make something clear before I finish this month's wonderful edition. My proof reader has completed the checking and SHE wishes to totally disassociate herself from the content.

In fact, she seems to be a bit miffed with me at present, can't think why. I gather I've got to cook my own tea.

Well, providing I don't die of starvation, having not been able to get to the supermarket shelf containing the ingredients for whatever I decide to cook myself, I'll be back with another edition at the beginning of November, so I hope you'll join me then.

Right, I'm off, where's me little wire basket?

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