surinenglish

Choosing's my religion

It's exhausting. All that choice that's on offer for everything we ever do. Even the simplest of pleasures is converted into a labyrinth of decision-making by the sheer volume and variety of everything around us.

If you want to spend the evening watching a film with a bottle of wine and a pizza, what should be a pretty mindless exercise becomes a decision-making marathon if you let it. The pizza menu reads like War And Peace (and that's before you even reach the 'extra toppings' prologue) while there are more varieties of wine available at your local supermarket than there are stars in the universe. None of this actually matters, of course, because by the time you've decided what film you want to watch, the pizza's gone cold and the wine's turned to vinegar.

Someone asked for Cola Cola Zero Zero in the pub the other day. At first I thought that they had some kind of speech impediment but, no, apparently this nonsense actually does exist. It's got zero sugar in it and zero something else that I can't remember. Taste, probably. You might as well ask for a bottle of water as something as joyless as Coca Cola Zero Zero Zero Zero or whatever it's called.

Ah, yes, water. Even the most basic of our requirements doesn't escape from the infinite choice model. Water from the Sierra Nevada mountains, water from the Pyrenees, water from the eternal life-giving springs of the Nepalese hinterland, water from some bloke's duck pond in Rotherham. There's no end to it. It really is only water and there's plenty of it in the tap. You know when society has reached a saturation point of riches when families begin to squabble about which brand of water to buy (they do, I've witnessed it on more than one occasion).

What can we do about this state of affairs, then? Well, I propose a 'first come, first served' month long period during which time everyone simply chooses the first thing they see in every case. Netflix recommends a film about teenagers in a haunted house? That'll do. Pizza with unidentifiable bits of who knows what on it? Don't mind if I do (everybody knows it's only the Italian version of cheese on toast anyway). A lovely carton of Don Simón wine? Mmm, yes please. We might even try water from the tap and bottles of Coca Cola that actually have some ingredients in them.

Nothing much will actually happen, except that we won't find ourselves quite so tired out by all that superfluous decision-making.

It's not called being 'spoilt for choice' for nothing.