As avid fans of home shopping and all technologies that allow us to avoid the hustle and bustle of shopping centres, commercial highstreets and superstores, we use online grocery shopping wherever possible. Having taken receipt of our latest order, and perusing the receipt/delivery note, I noticed a rather odd phrase. This particular retailer had decided upon the advertising tagline ‘Freedom Shopping’. Confusion flooded my mind as it began to digest this phrase and its respective placement. Sometimes a phrase you hear or read just seems out of context. Why you are not sure but the gut instinct guides you. Striving for an advertising hook, to plant a seed into the mind of the populace and advance your sales, this phrase had certainly caught my attention, but possibly not for the very reasons it was intended for.
Although not entirely sociable first thing in the morning, nor fully compos mentis, I was sure I would have noticed a revolution, government coup, or similar radical action that would have led to a reliance on the term freedom. Groggy, and only one strong coffee into my waking day when I answered the door, a minor consultation with my wife convinced me that my liberty was in deed just that. Approaching my perplexity in good scientific nature I of course sought a second opinion. First with the retailer employee and second, our children, who both confirmed there existed no unusual predicament and our safety was as free and open as it had been when the order was placed. Had my shopping experience ever been restricted by anything other than the size of my bank balance? Clearly, I was failing to understand the concept of freedom shopping.
Secondary thoughts prevailed. Was this some new-fangled item I had been missing all of these years? Had freedom fries expanded its repertoire to encompass all grocery items? Based upon the post Iraq invasion by the US had the very nature of shopping been declared anti-French as the humble French-fry had? Another possibility occurred to me. Was the answer to dictatorship and endless suffering as easy as ordering your provisions on line? Search, begin your shop and after finishing with your fruit and vegetables look for the NATO peace intervention for the order of one freedom shopping opportunity. Saddam Hussein and foes would have stood no chance should the so-called rebels merely decided to take up their right of freedom shopping and order a gargantuan size of democracy.
Perhaps my online shopping is just that; plain and simple. Only when the great firewall comes raining down, dictators remove the imported goods, and I have to traipse to the physical store would I have the need to describe shopping and freedom in the same sentence.