Pick ‘n Pay … Larry … Stikeez … Super Animal Cards …. and my changing wine purchasing habits ….

I had some less than complementary things to say last time about Larry from Pick ‘n Pay and his band of underlings who introduced the Stikeez concept into their stores.

I recall I had suggested that “I hope you get a case of chlamydia – you and your entire team.  And it is drug resistant.”

It was based on my own selfish need to walk around Pick ‘n Pay with my earphones in.  Getting what ever I need.  With no need to interact with anyone.  With no one demanding something from me.

I would go home and be grateful for my 15 minutes of “me time.”

I do realise it is a sad state of affairs when your “me time” is you shopping at a retailer.  Motherhood starts with you having high ideals, and then degenerates into being happy that you can pee alone.  True story.

My kids do not want to come shopping with me – I took it as a 15 – 45 minute free “ME” time moment.

For a parent with three children, I have come to put a high value on time to-be-by-myself-without-having-to-wipe-someone’s-bum-or-to-tell-a-sibling-to-stop-hitting-the-other-sibling-with-a-empty-bottle.

I rate that time highly.  And I get agitated when someone is about to encroach on that time.

Larry and his Stikeez came along and my shopping experience went to hell in a hand-basket.

I was subjected to queues with children whining and strained parents wondering if they should just buy 15 R10.00 items so they can get a Stikeez.  So that maybe.  Just maybe.  They can have a break from their whiny off-spring for just a few moments.  Peace, sweet peace.

Moms and dads with two Stikeez and three children were standing in Pick ‘n Pay trying to decide which was their least favourite child for the day.

One Stikeez, three children is just not an equation that works.  Even with standard grade mathematics.

Kids were crying and moaning.  You give them a Stikeez.  They are happy and joyous.  It lasts for 0.25 seconds.  The kid opens the bag and it is the one they have already.  Then the world ends.

They are whingeing again to their parents to get them another Stikeez.  Parents are staring at cashiers thinking “please save me ….. for the love of all things good ….. save me..”

And the Pick ‘n Pay cashier places a protective hand over the Stikeez box.  Clearly been trained on how quickly this situation can turn violent.  And she has been coached to protect the Stikeez at all costs.  All.  Costs.


It was all a very unpleasant time for many of us.

I think as a nation of parents with young kids, we came together in our loathing for the fact that Pick ‘n Pay was getting us to “bribe” our children, for their silence.  At R150.00 a pop.

It’s a bit like gambling.

I just have to spend R150.00 and I will get 5 minutes of Johnny being happy. I will be the best parent in the world. Granted for only 5 minutes, but it will be the best 5 minutes of my life!!

Shit, not another penguin. Johnny has that one, and is now going full siren sound and blowing bubbles out of his nose as he screams for another Stikeez.  

Oh fuck it, I am this far in.  Here is another R150.00 — let’s see what I get ….. ah fek, another fecking penguin!!  What fresh hell is this?

People without children are looking on in horror and thinking, you know I  don’t think I am quite ready to come off birth control just yet.  “Honey I think you need to get some condoms …..”

This year Pick ‘n Pay has launched the Super Animals Card Campaign.


I will confess I braced myself, and prepared to run away from home, or change my retailer until this shit was over.

I still had vivid memories of the last campaign.

It was like Checkers and Spar were on to it.  Collectively deciding that “fek you parents” and  each released their own spend-R150.00-and-we-will-give-you-shit-your-kid-wants-and-will-whine-itself-into-a-stupor-to-beg-you-to-get-another Campaign.

I decided to pull my jacket on tighter against this storm, and just push through.  I was looking braver than I was feeling.

As a rule I do not shop with the kids – they are either at home or I have locked them in the car with no windows open (or you can hear their moaning) – either way, they are not with me.

I paid for my items and the cashier gave me Super Animal Cards.

I thought …. seriously, are my kids really going to get all excited about this?  {using an inside voice that drips of disdain}

It appears that Pick ‘n Pay knows my kids better than I do.

My 14 years old feels that unless it’s Pokémon it is a total waste of time.  So the campaign was lost on him.

The girls however were in hook, line and sinker!!

Then the whinging began.  It started with questions and has moved to full-scale instructions.

Did you go to Pick ‘n Pay today?

Have you got cards on you?

Go buy sweets and get cards from Pick ‘n Pay. <7 year old>

7 year old barely acknowledges me unless I have a Pick ‘n Pay bag – then she is in full frisk-me mode.  I have stopped being mom I have become “do you have any Animal cards?”

The cards are actually nice — the girls are learning names of animals they probably would never have known otherwise.  The little pop up facts on the cards are also quite nicely done.

It is however, similar to Stikeez, in the constant demand for more, no matter how much they have it remains relentless.

Re. Fucking. Lent.  Less.

It’s given me insight into what living with a crack addict must be like.

The overwhelming urge at Pick ‘n Pay to spend at least R300.00 so I can get two cards.  Two kids = two cards.

When  all I want is this one bottle of wine at R39.00.  Ah well, 8 bottles it is then.  That is the sort of lengths I am willing to go to make my children happy.  That people is parenting!!

The girls have got the book, the little box thing, the sound thing.  All of it.  It really does keep them busy for lengths of time.

I am not that person who is going to set up a meet with other moms/dads/psychopaths to swap my kids cards out so they can have the full set.

Yeah, that seems like way too much commitment to this project.

Being a shitty parent, with little in the way of things which strike the fear of Gd into my children, I have realised that nothing ends an argument quicker than threatening to take a few Super Animals cards away.

It wins hands down at the moment as the thing, most likely, to stop them beating the crap out of each other.

It ends the high-pitched glass-shattering screaming that only two girls can do.

It acts as a very convenient leverage to encourage kids to clean up their rooms and hang up the fecking wet towels which are lying on the goddamn floor.

I no longer have to stand there beseeching them.

I now give clear instructions <but in a threatening tone> “these towels better be hung up, PROPERLY, in the next 15 seconds or I am taking a Super Animal Card from each of your collections.  And you, 14 year old, will be losing wi-fi!!!  {he does not give a toss about the cards, but wi-fi is like oxygen to him}

Thanks Larry at Pick ‘n Pay – you have definitely pushed up my wine purchasing habits.  Not that it needed much in the way of motivation, but there you are.

I trust you and your team are all chlamydia free — wishing you all the best!


Post related to this topic:  https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/larry-at-a-pick-n-pay-and-my-wishes-around-a-venereal-disease/


I am still excited about voting ……….

It is the run up to the Municipal Elections on Wednesday.

I have checked I am on the roster. I know where I must vote. I have my ID book.

I am excited at the prospect of voting.  I am looking forward to Wednesday.

I have been given this right because there were thousands of people who fought for my right to vote, and who died to ensure that it is something that is given to every citizen of this country.

A hundred years ago (far less, but that is not what this is about) as woman, irrelevant to what my colour was, I did not have the right to vote.  My voice did not get a chance to be heard.

I was born in 1972.  I lived through the apartheid era.

I lived through some of the worst times in South African history, but I am one of the lucky ones.  I got to live through it.  I got to see our mistakes.

I got to be proud when we became a democratic country with a democratic elected president.

I got to stand in the queue when millions of people who had never had a chance to vote, got that chance.

I remember that day.  And every time I stand in a queue, I smile because I remember how monumental that day was.

And it makes me happy.  And proud of how far we have come.

I also remember how so many people felt we would go the same way as Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, how we needed to prepare for the biggest civil war ever experienced, how “they” were going to come and take our properties, our lives and our children.

Then we voted.  And we went home.

It was okay.

I am not denying that we have experienced our share of violence, political or otherwise – we are not a perfect country.

I am not suggesting that it has all been unicorns and rainbow farts.  I am however getting really exhausted by the amount of shit that is shared on Facebook.

Any article that indicates that this election may not be free and fair is shared, and shared and shared some more.

Does anyone actually stop and read the article, properly and then ask themselves, what benefit is there in sharing this crap? This information that at a glance can be seen as total twat material?

So why do you choose to share it.  What good will come out of sharing this shit on your time line?

No, it appears that the joy is in the sharing.

The adding to the “noise” that our elections are flawed and do not matter.

That my vote has no value.  That your vote has no value.

My future is in my hands on Wednesday.  I get to cast my vote — my vote.

And everyone else in South Africa gets to do the same thing.

Can South Africans who are not fleeing to Canada this week, just take a breath.  Remember how far we have come.  What we have achieved.

What we have become, even when everyone expected flames and blood shed.

I am going to case my vote on Wednesday.

I am telling my children that I get a chance to have my say in the direction that this country heads.  I get one vote.  I try to make them excited every year about voting, so that when they turn 18 they want to run up and vote —- not sit back with glazed eyes and mumble apathy.

What are you teaching your children by putting this shit on your time line and breathing out this negativity?

You get to vote.  Even after all the shit you have shared on FB, you get to vote too.

Instead of wasting your time sharing shit on Facebook, stop, go and do some actual research.  Ignore the big headline with the crap copy in it.

Start for once to believe that South Africa is probably the best place to live — well it is for me.  I am not blind to what is wrong in this country, but I am optimistic that South Africa should not be discounted just yet.

Listen if Canada rings your bells, then take a flight and go there.  Like now.

But try not to piss in the pool that the rest of us are sitting in with our G&T’s whilst we wait to cast our votes.

Wednesday is coming —- cast your vote!!