A shopping list purports to be a simple item used to detail all items required on a given shopping trip. However, recent scientific studies have revealed its true purpose: it is a key element in a game of oneupmanship between couples.
The lists are carefully compiled in a secret code known only to one half of the couple, the objective being to confuse, baffle, and otherwise annoy the other half to the point of submission. The ultimate aim is to get the other half to admit to being an abject failure, and to concede intellectual superiority in the relationship indefinitely, or at least until next Tuesday.
To this end, most shopping lists are written on tiny scraps of paper to give the illusion of 20 items or less, but closer inspection reveals that most shopping lists in fact contain well over 100 items, concealed using many cunning techniques, including:
- Implied in the description of another item (e.g. sprouts might imply the need for air freshener)
- Alluded to obliquely (e.g. "cleaning stuff" means washing up liquid, a sponge, a new mop and dilute sulphuric acid)
- Disguised as another item (e.g. beer actually refers to Budweiser)