An alarming time at the supermarket (18 February 2012)

Haven’t blogged for a bit and I thought about returning with a serious blog on Syria, the Scottish referendum or about the death of Whitney Houston (I was affected by this, I liked her music, grew up with it) but instead an incident at the supermarket tonight gave me a better idea.
For those of you who have the misfortune of following me on Twitter you’ll probably be aware that I manage to set off the security alarms in my local supermarket on a fairly regular basis.  I bet more often than most do.  Probably more often than shoplifters do!

Why does it happen to me? Who knows? Perhaps because I’m generally blethering to the checkout assistant and therefore I distract them from removing security tags or deactivating them – or whatever happens that means the alarms don’t go off.  Then I go plundering towards the exit and the alarms go off.

I’m sure this has happened to most people and it’s fairly embarrassing, as I’m sure you’ll know if it has happened to you.  Generally the security guards are OK when this happens to me.  The fact that I haven’t taken off across the car park at speed when the alarm sounds probably alerts them to the fact that I’m not a shoplifter, I’m just…unfortunate.  Quick rifle around in the bag and the security guard on duty is generally satisfied.  He’ll wave me off with a “see you next time”.

Today though, after a lengthy walk, I went to the supermarket to get something for my dinner and some other bits and pieces.  I had even made a shopping list this time so I wouldn’t forget anything.  Although, that point is irrelevant.

Like most largish supermarkets this one has an electrical section ranging from MP3 players to giant screen TV’s.  I took a little wander through this section this evening and happened upon Kobo’s.  If you don’t know what they are then they’re little hand held book reader things.  A better explanation can be found here.

Anyway, like all the other electrical things in the electrical department, the Kobo’s are on display.  I don’t know how you feel about this dear reader, but I always thought that if things were on display they were there for you to have a fiddle with, to try out and see if you like the feel, the look and to see how it works.

Not so, apparently.

I can assure you that all I did was touch the screen of the Kobo.  A light touch to try and get it to come to life and…weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

An ear-piercing alarm sounded.  My first thought was “did I do that?”.  My second thought was “I can hear running feet”.  And running feet I did hear.  So I moved away from the Kobo at speed.  I didn’t get to the end of the aisle though before shop assistants and security guards with panic stricken looks on their faces came flying round the corner and into the aisle.  Some shot past me to the Kobo display.

Then, and I still don’t know why I did this, I stopped and put my hands up in the air.  As they started to look at me I then uttered the words “it was me”.  

At that point, thankfully, the next person into the aisle was the security guard who has perhaps rifled through my bags the most.  He took one look at me and laughed.  “Oh it’s YOU!” he said, giving my raised hands a quizzical look.

I put my hands down and said “I just touched the screen”, demonstrating how I’d touched the screen by jabbing the air in front of me with my index finger.  I wanted to tell them that their alarms were a touch sensitive but I thought I better not push it.  

As they all suddenly became more interested in turning the alarm o
ff (and checking their precious Kobo) I took that as my cue to move and headed around to the next aisle where I tried to act normal and select the ideal tuna steak for dinner.

It took them a while to get the alarm off.