Rules of supermarket deportment

A brief frivolous interlude to consider one small aspect of daily life.

A Tesco store has asked customers not to shop in their pyjamas or barefoot…A spokesman said Tesco did not have a strict dress code but it does not want people shopping in their nightwear in case it offends other customers.

Or not so much offends them as makes them feel sick. That’s how it affects me. The sight of people outside in the world in their bedroom slippers, or with bed hair, or in their pyjamas, makes me feel very queasy indeed. It’s much the same if I see people flossing their teeth or cutting their toenails in public; or picking their noses, or applying unguents to a suppurating wound, or peeling a scab, or searching around in their hair in case there are any lice or ticks or fleas lurking up there. There are things people shouldn’t do in public, and those are some of them. I applaud Tesco’s attempt to maintain a vestige of dignity and seemliness in modern life.

Elaine Carmody, 24, a full-time mother of two young boys, described the ban as “ridiculous” and “pathetic”. She said she had regularly gone shopping at the store in her pyjamas until about a week ago when she was turned away when she went to buy cigarettes. She said she had been “popping in for a pack of fags,” but if she had been doing a full shop “then we obviously would have gone in clothed. But we only wanted fags and they still refused us to go in for a pack of cigarettes,” she added.

Ah isn’t that nice – Elaine Carmody is so frantically busy being the mother of two young boys that she can’t manage to put real clothes on before she goes to Tesco, so she regularly went shopping there in her unsightly pyjamas. Of course, she assures us, with her unerring grasp of the niceties, if she had been doing “a full shop” then obviously – obviously! – she would have put actual clothes on, but they ‘only wanted fags’ – she and her two young boys. Well of course they did, and what a cozy family group they do sound, running into Tesco in their jammies for a packet of fags and then running back home to smoke them. Yet Tesco didn’t find them appealing! It’s astonishing, isn’t it?

Elaine Carmody says quite a lot more; the BBC pretty obviously finds her hilarious. They thoughtfully provide a picture of her in her pyjamas, too, so that we can get an idea. We get one.

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