Bunnings says every customer who walks into its stores will spend $150,000 with them over their lifetime.
I'm several decades off retirement but I'm pretty sure I've already spent that much on maidenhair ferns that I've later killed.
Nevertheless, the DIY, gardens and hardware behemoth is still my happy place, and over the years I've noticed a few things that seem to happen every time you visit.
1. Getting more than you bargained for
You walk in and tell yourself that this time you're only going to buy the two items that are on your list. No, really. 45 minutes later you find yourself pushing your overloaded trolley through the fertiliser aisle while browsing a 'borrowed' copy of Better Homes & Gardens and seriously considering adding a 'grow your own mushrooms' kit to your cart, despite the fact you don't particularly enjoy eating – let alone growing – mushrooms.
2. Flirting with relationship death
If you're shopping with your partner, you'll have at least one argument that's borderline relationship-ending. Move over Ikea, there's a rival for your crown as the relationship deathtrap.
Move over Ikea, there's a rival for your crown as the relationship deathtrap
3. Adopting a herb mentality
You stumble across the herb display in the garden centre and daydream about how healthy and delicious your meals would be if you could pick fresh herbs from your windowsill. You end up convincing yourself that if you buy that pot of coriander, this time you'll be able to keep it alive. You won't.
4. Getting trapped in the tool section
You make the mistake of thinking you can take a shortcut through the tool section, only to realise too late that it's a dead end, and now you can't get back out because a mob (is that the right collective noun?) of tradies has blocked the entrance. So instead you try to act as though you're definitely interested in [insert complicated power tool here] in an attempt to pass yourself off as some sort of DIY expert.
5. Playing with your inner child
You're never too old to play with those chunky chains on a roll, trying them on your wrist to see what they'd look like as a bracelet.
6. Overestimate your abilities
You browse the timber aisle and convince yourself you'd be able to build your own chest of drawers, despite having zero carpentry skills and an inability to hammer straight.
7. Stalking the staff
You seem always to be surrounded by helpful staff members, until you need to actually speak to one, and when you finally track one down they're busy talking to someone else. "That's fine," you think, "I'll wait." But then they walk off with the customer to take them to another aisle. Do you follow them? Do you try to find someone else? Do you just give up? It's a choose-your-own-adventure social nightmare.
8. Getting hooked on adhesives
If you rent your home, you'll browse the DIY shelving aisles, lusting after all the wall-mounted storage options that you'll never have, and instead will leave with $200 worth of adhesive hooks.
You worry that, because you've bought a hammer and some plant ties, people will think you're trying to hide a dead body
9. Making people wonder about your hobbies
Maybe you watched too many schlocky thrillers in your formative years, but while waiting in line at the checkout you worry that, because you've bought a hammer and some plant ties, people will think you're trying to hide a dead body. That doesn't stop you wondering the same when you spy someone buying some rope and a shovel.
10. Embracing your inner Aussie
You won't be able to leave without dropping by the sausage sizzle. Or making a joke about slipping on onions. That'd be un-Australian.