You might have thought I was all done with pyramids of canned goods—since we had a whole “pyramid of cans week” last month. You would have been wrong.
There’s also a large body of video evidence proving that, deep down, mayhem and anarchy in the supermarket is exactly what consumers are in the market for. To see their favorite brand-name consumer packaged goods scattered all over the floor in the aisles of their supermarket. (See also: Anarchy in the Supermarket: Rock and Roll and the Commodification of Rebellion by Jae H. Roe)
The collapsing pyramid trope (or pyramid meme?—not to be confused with a pyramid scheme) has been appearing for some time on TV and at the movies.
Usually these canned goods displays collapse for one of two (ostensibly accidental) reasons: 1. a shopper selects one of the structurally supporting cans to remove from a stacked pyramid of cans, or 2. there is inappropriate running or other hijinks in the supermarket, and a stacked pyramid of cans becomes collateral damage—sometimes repeatedly.
There was a bit of supermarket mayhem in a comedy that I remember seeing as a child, but that I cannot remember well enough to actually identify. Maybe someone can help me with this. It involved a long-suffering supermarket clerk or manager creating a stacked display that kept getting knocked down during some circuitous supermarket chase scene. He would start rebuilding it, only to have it knocked down all over again. The punch line was when he saw them once again coming towards his rebuilt display, he just went ahead and knocked it all down himself. Maybe this was a Disney movie or maybe Jerry Lewis, but I’m not certain.
No matter. Other examples abound.
(5 more collapsing pyramids, after the fold…)
In the Candid Camera style television show below…
In children’s cartoon shows such as in the Two Stupid Dogs “Far Out Friday” episode…
In this counting bit from Sesame Street…
And in this Winnie The Pooh “A Pooh-Day Afternoon” episode…
The collapsing supermarket pyramid joke also occurs in more adult-orientated juvenilia, such as this grocery store scene from Repo
Workplace alert: this supermarket scene contains adult language, but then it wouldn’t be mayhem without a couple of “F” bombs.