Monday, July 25, 2011

No woman, no buy

I crawled out of a doomladen weekend of news of the deaths of dozens of people in Norway in a terror attack by some right wing nutter and the inevitable but still miserable demise of Amy Winehouse searching for something to convince me that yes, life in the dust bowl still goes on as normal and the (immensely fierce and really quite burny) sun will continue to shine. Thanks to the Gulf's, erm, most peculiar news source, I found it.  

Any news story that incorporates a play on words into a Bob Marley song title for its headline is alright by me so gold star to my beloved Emirates 24/7, purveyor of fine headlines since, well, probably a few years ago.  

But there's more than just the headline to love in this story about shopkeepers sneakily taking advantage of discounts at the new Union Coop in Al Barsha, Dubai.  The very idea that taking a woman with them will stop these men buying up huge amounts of fruits, vegetables and household goods in order to sell them on at a profit, that a woman will be way too honest to countenance such behaviour tickled me a great deal.  

I am also now entertaining a host of mental images. 1. These men dressing up in saris or abayas, shaving their beards and donning wigs and makeup, such will be their desperation to profit from the Coop's generous discounting. Or perhaps, not because they're not best keen on cross dressing in Dubai.  2. They could send their wives or sisters down there to buy half a ton of onions and tomatos and innocently tell the manager that they're having a really, really big dinner party.  3.  Grab an innocent woman shopper at the doors of the Coop, bribe her and convince her to accompany you on your supermarket discount sweep.  Marvellous stuff. 

I applaud them for taking the really rather forward thinking step of banning men from the store rather than, say, stop people buying up goods in large amounts. No arguments about the reasoning for buying 20 sacks of spuds, just ban the man. Awesome.

They've well and truly got their message across that the Coop is offering really quite massive discounts.  If they weren't relatively innocent in the dark arts of press releases and PR in this part of the world, I'd suspect a publicity stunt.  Oh no.  Perhaps they're not, perhaps the protested innocence is all part of the clever plan to suck you in with their genius PR and I've fallen for it. Argh! *Black hole opens up as the universe collapses in on itself and Sand Witch melts in manner of Wicked Witch of the West in Wizard of Oz.*   

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