1. Rumour has it they shot The Hunger Games here on location at lunchtime on a Saturday.
2. And then they couldn't use the footage because a bargain-hunter kicked over a camera and broke a crew member's nose in her race to get her hands on a half-price Ralph Lauren blazer.
3. But for the battle-hardened, the spoils are worth it.
4. So let's start with jeans.
5. These vary wildly in price, yet all look the exact same.
6. Except for the odd quirk that meant they couldn't sell at the full price.
7. Like orange neon stitching.
8. Or a weird cut that makes it uncomfortable to walk, sit down, or own a vagina.
9. Designer labels, though!
10. And a motley range of sizes.
11. These are an 8.
12. But these are also an 8.
13. And yet they are not the same size.
14. How can I even find truth in the hazy spectacle of life?
15. Maybe by snapping up these Karl Lagerfeld skinny jeans.
16. He would HATE me wearing them.
17. Because I'm not the beauty norm or whatever.
18. But they're such good jeans, though.
19. So really, this is my way of saying, "Fuck you, Karl Lagerfeld."
20. By giving him money.
21. I might as well try them on.
22. Let's see if I can find a top to go with them.
23. I mean, there's no point in braving those changing rooms if you're not trying on ALL of the things.
24. So this jumper is completely see-through.
25. And this one has a sequinned koala bear on it.
26. And this one has a pattern of ice creams and unicycles.
27. And basically, I'm having trouble finding a jumper I can even face wearing in the changing room.
28. I just won't bother trying the jeans on.
29. They're a bargain, after all.
30. I am a woman of means and don't need to concern myself with such trifles.
31. Or whatever.
32. It strikes me that TK Maxx is the Hufflepuff of the fashion world.
33. It takes the things no one else wants.
34. Sorry, Hufflepuffs.
35. Wait, this blouse looks decent!
36. Except for the cut-outs in the back. Why?
37. Operation Find a Top: abandoned for now.
38. I wonder what the "TK" stands for.
39. Or what "Maxx" means.
40. Am I the only person who used to assume they were somehow affiliated with McDonald's?
41. OK, good to know that I definitely am.
42. Ooh, evening dresses.
43. These will come in handy for the 0.25 formal occasions I'm invited to each year.
44. There is an abundance of rhinestones here.
45. An embarrassment of rhinestones.
46. An incredulity of rhinestones.
47. A murder of rhinestones.
48. WHO set the RRP for this at £300?
49. Oh, right, a moron.
50. Who thinks there are people in the world who are willing to pay £300 to have rhinestones on their body?
51. Mind you, with the number of people trying to shove past me, they might not be wrong.
52. Let's mosey over to hats for a bit.
53. The range is good, if unseasonal.
54. Is it too late in the year to buy a faux-fur Cossack hat?
55. Yes. Definitely.
56. But for 10 quid?
57. Ugh, fine.
58. Wow, it's a giant red feather fascinator and I WANT it.
59. To wear to the races.
60. Which I go to.
61. OK, £40 is steep.
62. But the RRP is £70!
63. And I'm sure that wasn't just pulled out of nowhere by the TK Maxx wizards-that-be to make me think that £40 is a relatively good deal.
64. OK, time to batten down the hatches and move on.
65. We haven't even started on shoes.
66. Ugg boots! Remember when they were a thing?
67. Maybe they still are.
68. But it does feel gross to wear sheep fleece on your feet.
69. And it would probably smell gross after a while, too.
70. What about the clear plastic stilettos, though?
71. From a distance, it'll look like your feet are floating on thin air!
72. Or like you're wearing cheap, tacky shoes.
73. Wait, they're £80; I retract "cheap".
74. And they're not in my size anyway.
75. But they were originally £170, so I can't help poking around if for some reason they'd cost that much.
76. This is the sorcery of TK Maxx.
77. Every single label makes you doubt your own judgment.
78. Which makes you buy a load of worthless tat.
79. Your awareness that this is happening doesn't save you in the slightest.
80. Nice scarves.
81. But I must stay strong.
82. Some of these people are unlikely recruits to the banner of designer bargain-hunting.
83. Primarily all the confused men going through the coats.
84. They can't deal with the crowds.
85. Unlike me, seasoned shopping virtuoso that I am.
86. The key is to forget that other people exist or matter.
87. And everyone else in the shop seems very good at this too.
88. Am I mentally, morally, and philosophically prepared for the clearance rail?
89. OK, turns out I wasn't.
90. If TK Maxx is the Hufflepuff of the fashion world, then this stuff is like the Hufflepuff of Hufflepuff.
91. If you can't picture a fishnet raincoat, then I won't spoil your innocence.
92. Basically, it is terrible and wearing it makes you terrible.
93. And it's now available for the low, low price of £15!
94. Bargainous as this has been, I've had enough.
95. But in order to queue up to pay, you have to face the Final Boss of TK Maxx.
96. Yes, that's right.
97. The random crap they line up around the till.
98. I am frightened.
99. Why are they trying to sell me a cow-shaped pillow?
100. Why are they trying to sell me a paisley lamp?
101. Why are they trying to sell me obviously synthetic tulips?
102. Why am I buying all this?
103. I feel the cashier is judging my purchases.
104. It could be that I'm displacing my self-judgment on to them.
105. But it's probably just that I've gone and bought some random shit I don't need and they can tell right away.
106. They have the Gleam of Knowing in their eyes.
107. Also, they work here and get to see this happening to every single customer.
108. I'll probably be back next Saturday.