Crushed by Shopping
It's an ugly way to die, poetically. To become an analogy that people use to illustrate how "Over-consumption" has lead to a "Crash", and then titter with glee at their own witty economic savvy. That's got to hurt. But not as much as being crushed to death by your own shopping.
For thus it was that 77-year-old Mancunian Joan Cunnane's 16-year spending spree came to a juddering halt: her tiny bungalow now given over entirely to stacks of unopened carrier bags as she compulsively hoarded and recklessly spent. She was crushed under 3ft of ornaments, clothes in suitcases, and electrical goods, all still in their packaging. It took 12 police with sniffer dogs two days to find her body and throw her unopened purchases into a skip.
Already, the tabs are trying to cast her as some sort of mad bag-lady. The Sun says that: "Even her Rover Metro was packed with candles, umbrellas, a teddy, shears, and a foot pump." Now let's not jump to conclusions here, The Sun. Just because her house was a bit of a mess doesn't mean that having five items in your car constitutes being an over-consuming fruitcake. She might've simply been going to a romantic dinner on a rainy evening with an infantile man who liked gardening and owned an airbed. We just don't know.
Likewise, regarding the inside of her house, another neighbor said: "There were thousands of videos. When I walked they all fell down. It was a deathtrap, really." Yes, possibly, but please also recall that Last Of The Summer Wine ran for a very long time. You can't expect the boxset to be fit into a suitcase, can you?
And her friend offered a completely rational explanation for why she had so many scarves: "I once asked how many scarves she had. She said 300. I asked why so many. She said they were all different colors." Note to Sun reporters: even the computer I work on has millions of colours, so why shouldn't a lady of independent means want to have the option to choose between a tiny handful of them?
Rather than viewing Joan Cunnane as a tragic victim of her own appetites, let's remember her as a heroic one-woman economic stimulator. She shopped. She dropped. Amen.