Web Diving: Luv & Hat.Com’s Take on Self-Service Checkout, BBQs, Jeggings, and the Queen’s Jubilee Thingy

You know that oddly satisfying feeling when you come across a website that just speaks to you? The kind that says the things you’d probably say, or has the kind of strife, revelry, or amazing shenanigans you’d probably get into? Well, it’s not nice to keep those things to ourselves. So, we’re here to share with you these little gold mine finds. Will they all be perfect? Probably not. Will they make you laugh uncontrollably? Probably yes.

Today we introduce Luv & Hat.

This site is brought to you by a writer for The Guardian and a mix of bloggers and Twitter novelists. Is that a thing? Okay, we’ve just made up a thing.

The whole thing about this site is that it’s about disagreements. You know how you spend time arguing with your best buddies about inane and sometimes nonsensical stuff? “Who’d win, Batman or Superman?” or “Cilantro? The Best or the Worst?” (WORST!) or “Toilet paper? Over or Under.” (You over people are maniacs) See, these are the really important questions in life. Those things that must be settled or “Dammit, we’re never getting a beer with you again. Ever!” See how these things work?

Most recently, Stuart and Robyn (Luv & Hat) are arguing about Self-service checkouts. We know, right? Best invention in the last two decades, until, well, they stop working just as you’re paying for your items, so you’re now in that limbo world of “It’s so easy a baby could do it, yet I can’t. How long do I stand here swiping my moistened toilet wipes before someone comes to help me, and then they’ll see my moistened toilet wipes, which is the whole reason why I chose the self-service checkout to begin with.”

Stuart says:

Look, supermarkets have always hated you. Supermarkets are basically vast warehouses strewn with signs that say ‘THIS TOWN USED TO HAVE A FISHMONGER UNTIL WE CAME ALONG’ and ‘NONE OF OUR CHICKENS HAVE EVER SEEN SUNLIGHT AND MOST OF THEM DON’T EVEN HAVE BEAKS’. That’s fine. That’s the ethical trade-off you have to make in order to buy a lasagne-flavoured sandwich at 11pm on a Tuesday night.

But checkout assistants? They were gold-plated, stone-cold proof that supermarkets absolutely fucking hated you. Checkout assistants were trained to greet you at the till with a surly “Spose you want BAGS” that suggested you were entirely responsible for all the dead polar bears in history. If that wasn’t enough, they’d then judge you for everything you’d bought.

Oh, the judging. Buy a readymeal and you’d see them thinking “Single are we? I can’t say I’m surprised, not with that haircut.” Buy a bottle of wine and they’d think “ALCOHOL? But it’s TWO-THIRTY IN THE AFTERNOON, you MONSTER.” And, let’s be honest, anyone who says that they ever bought condoms without being directly vomited on is either particularly good at vomit-dodging or a liar.

Luckily, technology has killed the checkout assistant, just like it killed other useless professions like tube drivers and journalists. Now, instead of having to go through all the poxy rigmarole of human interaction, there’s a machine that can handle the transaction all by itself. It is the self-service checkout, and it is wonderful.

Robyn, naturally, disagrees:

I’d rather malinger in a 100-person supermarket cashier queue than follow the employee trying to usher me over to the self-service machine. Because I know his game. He’s not really asking me to expedite my twelve Wispa Golds and one low-fat sandwich, is he? What he’s really asking is “Would you like to FAIL today?”

Because everyone fails at the self-service checkout – you, me, Feliks Zemdegs the 2011 Rubik’s Cube record holder, everybody. It doesn’t matter how urbane or technologically adept we are. I’ll bet even the inventor of the self-service checkout starts speed-beeping his groceries through with blithe confidence but ends the process in panicky tears, desperately swiping a lemon across the barcode reader before ED209 stomps out to gun him down if he can’t find his Nectar card in 20 seconds.

The bastard machine dooms me from the outset. As soon as I rock up it’ll shout “START SCANNING YOUR ITEMS NOW” before I can put down my bag.

At this point the self-service checkout will decide that lemons don’t in fact exist, and also that there is something unexpected in the bagging area. Often this is nothing, or air, or the previous shopper’s aura. Regardless, the self-service checkout will sulk until I call for assistance.

Oh, did I mention that they’re British? HA! The Brits are hilarious when they get all flustered and beaten by technology. This is so very much like the episode when Mr. Bean gets his head stuck in a turkey, yes? No. Okay, fine. It’s still hilarious.

For more hijinks, take a gander at Luv & Hat’s thoughts on BARBECUES

“Do you know how hard it is to be a vegetarian at a barbecue? To turn up to some stranger’s house and have everything go quiet until finally someone sighs and says “Barry, get the salad” as you try to disappear…”

and Pastries.

“It’s hard to trust people who don’t like pasties, isn’t it? It’s hard to look at them, and their tiny mouths and their monocles and their ridiculous cutlery infatuation, with anything other than outright disgust.”

They also have feelings about Jeggings.

[Mother of the spork inventor] “If she knew that her adorable baby would one day grow up to promote the usage of needlessly awkward portmanteaus, that poor woman would have almost definitely flung herself into a furnace at the point of childbirth like Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3.

She’d know that after the word spork would come the word camcorder. And then the word metrosexual. And then after that, people would suddenly begin to interrupt their advertecture webinars to joygasm about the upcycled liger-print skort they saw Jedward wearing on the Brangelina informercial while they were chillaxing over their turducken brunch, and nobody would be able to go more than about three seconds without bursting into tears at the fucking hollow pointless abject screaming futility of everything that their lives have come to represent.

And then, after all of that, would come jeggings. Fucking jeggings.”

And of course the blimey Diamond Jubilee.

“But here’s the thing: I bet the Queen hates the Diamond Jubilee. I bet she properly bloody hates it. I bet it fucks around with her day something rotten. All she wants to do is sit at home watching the Liz Earle Colour Cosmetics hour on QVC, but no. She has to get on a poxy boat and spend four hours waving at idiots. She has to pretend that she’s never seen a bloody flypast before. And, worst of all, she’s got to host a fucking concert in her back garden. Last time was bad enough. For her Golden Jubilee, the Queen had to put up with Paul McCartney singing a thirteen-hour-long version of Hey Jude…”

The Brits may be cranky, but at least they have pasties and, well, okay, just pasties. (Yes, I totally thought they were saying pastry, because, it looks like pastry. Sure, it’s filled with warm meat, but if it’s wrapped in dough — it’s totally pastry. I’m American. What I say is law.)

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