On Saturday morning we stumbled into a dangerous place.

Taking us into the Simon Johnson warehouse sale is a little like taking a crack addict to Scarfaces’ den.

On first impression there’s a thin layer of civility. There are lots of middle aged women wearing well pressed linen shirts wandering around. They’re in a warehouse in Alexandria and they’re secretly thrilled that their GPS was able to find ‘Doody street’.

You walk around in ever increasing concentric circles and studiously pick up jars of discounted tapenade to check the use by date, while secretly hating everyone else for being there at the same time. Once you’ve had enough of that you join the queue, which can take up to 45 minutes and try to be subtle while you sneak a a peek into your neighbour’s basket and gage if they’ve snaffled a better bargain.

Two years ago we were the absolute winners. We found the two kilo pallets of Valhrona chocolate at drastically reduced rates, hidden under a trestle table. There were a lot of chocolate cakes that year, and we even performed a victory dance upon exit. There may have been pirouettes of glee.

This year, in the middle of a GFC we couldn’t decide if it was more appropriate that we go (and do our patriotic duty of shopping), or if spending larger than usual sums on reduced high end foodstuffs was a heinous display of conspicuous consumption. Surely lentils will suffice.

Unable to make up our minds on issues of that magnitude at 8.15 on a Saturday morning we thought we’d pop our heads and and see how we felt when we got there.

This is where any reason starts to dissolve. There’s only one word that’s appropriate for what ensued.


Now we just have to forgive ourselves and move on. We just have to find room in the cupboard for the scads of reduced Earl Grey tea, mint turkish delight (I thought it was traditional when I picked it up in an aggressive swoop), biscotti swiftly approaching their use by date, chickpea flour, Danish butter, Spanish cheese, chocolate coconut biscuits, Christine Mansfield curry paste, olive oil, mustards, pastry shells and- one enormous pannetone.

We left behind the jamon iberico. I don’t care how much it’s reduced, or how good it tastes. Paying $50 for eight slices of ham remains beyond my powers of justification.

You see? Even the temporarily insane can have vestiges of reason.

Next year I need to be kept away. Help me please.

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