Monday, February 07, 2011

I Could Be The Great Leamington Spa Knicker Nicker

No, I could. With ease. And not just knickers but pretty much anything – kettles, DVDs, legumes, Brita water filer jug systems – provided it all fits neatly into a normal sized carrier bag of course. And it is an item I can pick up from Tesco.

‘Cos Tesco just don’t care. They’ve given me carte blanche to walk out of their store with absolutely anything I fancy.

Which is great if I could only find something that I actually like from their all encompassing range of household products – nicking a loaf of bread seems a bit lame and pointless (though I was tempted by the Ben & Jerry’s).

Of course, the Tesco management team might feel differently about all this but certainly the monobrowed, blue tabarded young ruffian I spoke to on the DVD aisle last week seemed totally oblivious to the fact that I had just set off all of their door alarms several times as I nipped in and out of the building just to check that, yes, it was me that was setting off the alarms even though I hadn’t actually at that point made a single purchase from Tesco.

I had bought something tasty from Argos though. A nice gadget thing which I can’t talk about here because it’s for my wife’s birthday in a fortnight. Seems the demagnetizer / security device remover thingy had failed to work as I picked up my product from collection point B. Not that I set off any alarms when I exited Argos though.

However, it was definitely my wife’s gift that had set off the Tesco alarms because I swang the bloody thing a couple of times in front of the door alarms just to be doubly sure. Anybody seen me performing that act would have wondered where the hell Goliath was hiding.

Swing – beep beep beep! Swing – beep beep beep!

Definitely me.

And the British public being mindful of Law & Order and swollenly turgid with moral rectitude and righteous fibre did, to a man, not rush towards me en masse and pin me to the floor with a shining example of citizen’s arrestmanship.

Nobody batted a single eyelid. Though one woman did flick some stray hair back up into her monumentally anachronistic beehive.

Oh well, I’m in Ronnie Biggs heaven, I thought and got on with purchasing my goods from Tesco. I paid for them and then ensured I got given a receipt because I knew what was coming next when I tried to exit the store.

Beep beep beep!

Yes, me again. This time with a Tesco bag in my hand as well as the one from Argos. Look people! Proof my grubby hands have been pawing the goods and chattels of the Tesco Corporation! Arrest me! Let me feel that heartless hand on my shoulder (a push – and it’s over). Full body cavity search! Good cop bad cop interview with Officer Krupt! I’m going down for a long stretch (6 months is a long time).

But no. Not a dickie-bird. Nobody gave a rat’s arse.

I did the decent thing being (a) tied to a moral compass of my own making and (b) stupid and approached the aforementioned member of staff.

“I think I’m setting off your alarms,” I said.

He gave me that kind of look that says, yes, I thought you looked like a weirdo. He just shrugged and said something about a fault and that I ought to just keep walking and the alarms would stop in a few seconds.

What I wouldn’t give to hear my bank manager say that to me. I could give up the ruddy pantomime with the balaclava and the sawn-off and never have to threaten anybody ever again. (I know, I know, but where would I get my kicks then?)

So I left the store.

Beep beep beep.

Only after I was heading down the street did I kick myself for the missed opportunity. I was in the DVD aisle when I spoke to Mr Poirot. I could have stuffed a load into my bag when his back was turned (or even when it wasn’t) and made off with a goodly haul.

I even briefly considered pulling the same scam in the other stores on the high street. Beep beep beep! Sorry – it’s this thing I’ve bought from Argos; it’s setting off your alarms... mind if I have a look around your nice store...?

But I just couldn’t be bothered.

What’s the point?

The knickers in Leamington are crap.



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37 comments:

Being Me said...

You know what, the same thing was happening to me a while back. All of a sudden, beep-beep-beep.... I'd set them off anywhere i went. Nobody cared! Nowhere! And I was vexed at the nonplussed attitude of every single attendant in every store. And then it happened: one day, a teeny tiny middle-aged little woman hustled me (reminded me of the "Don't move, dirtbag" chick in the Police Academy movies) over to the service counter and asked me to empty my bags. When the offending item proved to be an obviously old and empty battery packet with a barcode still stuck on it, she didn't drop her guard and still treated me like a possible shoplifter, telling me sharply to dispose of the rubbish. She looked down her nose at me (no easy feat cos she was a foot shorter than I) and virtually made me promise I'd do it before setting foot in the store again. Straaaangest interaction I've ever had with a store employee.

Steve said...

Being Me: ooh she sounds like my kind of woman: will always look up to me, authoratative and is as anal as I am about throwing out old rubbish. Did she have a peaked cap and a truncheon as well? I could be her Hightower to her Laverne Hooks...

Erm. And yes. I had to Google "Police Academy" to get their names.

the fly in the web said...

In a French supermarket I set off the alarms at the checkout.
The supervisor asked me to turn out my handbag....something I feel she will regret to the end of her days as my theory is that I fill a handbag until bursting point is reached and then buy a new handbag...
This one was just about at bursting point and gave a great deal of entertainment to the vast queue forming behind me...even more entertainment when nothing untoward having been discovered, I shovelled it all up again and left....except that something had rolled under the moving belt and immobilised it.

Supervisor...Madame, you have left something behind..the belt does not work...you will have to look for it...

Me...you're welcome to it, whatever it is...

Steve said...

The fly in the web: ha ha ha! Yes. Dear Supervisor, consider it a tip for all your trouble...!

Rol said...

Maybe they were watching you the whole time on CCTV so knew you hadn't nicked anything so didn't see any reason to detain you.

I'd watch you on the CCTV if you came in my shop. You just look dodgy. Especially in your Timothy Claypole outfit.

Steve said...

Rol: bugger. That'll teach me to moon at the lady in the cigarette kiosk.

Nota Bene said...

I've reported you to PC Plod, just in case your resolve wekens, or the knickers improve

Steve said...

Nota Bene: doesn't worry me; Plod's on the take - a pair of frillies and he's well happy.

Barry Coidan said...

Why am I not surprised that you know all about knickers in Leamington Spa.

Steve said...

Barry: knicker capital of the world, mate, on account of all the arseholes...

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

I recently got accosted by the security staff at our local supermarket because of a stray security tag - the tag was on a packet of cream of chicken cup-a-soups - clearly a much stolen item in Spanish supermarkets!

misssy m said...

Can I put in an order for the next time you're in?

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: cream of chicken soup? There's a cock joke in there somewhere but I can't find it.

Misssy M: certainly - lacy or crotchless?

libby said...

My ma and sister still live in Leamington...should I warn them about guarding their smalls?

Heather said...

Now you've got me thinking about I've never heard one of those alarms go off in our town. Ever. that can't be right, can it? I reckon they are probably fake barriers. Ummm...shall have to get one of the kids to test the theory out for me later in the week. I knew there was a reason for having the little buggers - i could become a regular Fagin

Steve said...

Libby: only if they're Ann Summers'...

Heather: the whole point of having kids is to send them out nicking stuff for the family. Start them on penny chews and then by the time they hit 15 they should be able to handle the big stuff like Ferrari's and widescreen TV's. It's all in Dr Spock's manual, honest.

The Sagittarian said...

You had best keep working that wide-eyed and innocent look while you still can then (once you get old, wrinklie and doddery it will just look creepy...)

Steve said...

Amanda: forget religion, it's botox that keeps me out of prison, I'm telling you.

Kelloggsville said...

Bloke 2 doors down from me at my first house was a convicted 'Knicker nicker' (from washing lines not Tescos). He Drove a robin reliant. We used to pick it up and turn it around in the parking space at night to annoy him. Irrevelant really as you don't drive but it should be a warning to you in case you start driving and happen to get a 3 wheeler and then get convicted of stealing pants and...oh I'll shut up now...just stick to nicking DVDs (clean ones)

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: bad enough I should be condemned for a knicker thief without being condemned for driving a robin reliant as well...! I'll stick to my push bike!

Gorilla Bananas said...

No man who's into knickers is interested in brand new ones - he wants them soiled and sweaty.

Alienne said...

Kelloggsville's comment about the reliant robin just hit my funny bone and I am crying with laughter at the thought of it!

There was an Arnold Layne type in Strood in the early 1970's; amongst many others he knicked my cousin's knickers from her washing line. She politely declined the police's invitation to identify and reclaim them when he was caught.

Phil said...

Thanks Steve. You’re such a Gent and a scholar, with your thinly encoded pre Valentines Day promo ‘plugette’ here, for mere blokes like me. Thanks for the reminder. Fact is, my tatty old Argos catalogue is of 1984 vintage and only has four & a half legible pages left, and I had absolutely no idea at all that they’d branched out into the…you know…(this is me blogging in a low whisper now)…”adult-personal-pleasureising-toy-thingy whatsit-with batteries not included”…market. Nod nod wink wink chap. Fact is, I just can’t get into any Anne Summers store anymore without setting off all their alarms. I upset them some years ago by constantly returning unwanted gifts & purchases and one day it all got a bit overheated and there was an..‘incident’, which resulted in me being erm…‘invaded’, by one of their display products when I bent over to pick up my change. I’ve gotten used to it now but the trouble is, the bar code still works.

The ordering and collection process in Argos is so private and discreet too. Perfect for this type of ‘purchase’. Do they gift wrap too? Great idea Steve. Hope your wife enjoys her gift. P.s. (Don’t forget the batteries) (I always do!)

Mark said...

I once set of the alarms at Delhi airport - I had a seven inch dagger in my kit bag that was a safety knife for kayaking but I'd forgotten to declare it. A long, long .... time later they let me though

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: correct and I have an on-line supplier who satisfies my every whim.

Alienne: they must have been well kinky...

Phil: my dear boy, you plainly link the word gadget with the word gusset but in my house ne'er the twain shall meet - especially when I am a one man adult pleasuring device myself. As for ever satisfying such needs please see my comment to Gorilla Bananas above.

P.S. If a gadget can't be mains driven it's not worth having. ;-)

Mark: with or without the knife?

lunarossa said...

My poor dad once set off the alarm in Next because of his pacemaker. Within seconds we had the whole North Yorkshire police surrounding us (only joking! They usually spend their shifts reading the newspaper!). Luckily he had a pacemaker pass (in English) to show but the store security guy didn't seem to know what a pacemaker was and he had to call the store manager...By the time we were let go, my dad was sure than a great part of the English retail population was dumm ...Ciao. A.

Steve said...

Lunarossa: I hate to say it but I'm inclined to think your dad is correct in his opinion...!

Phil said...

F.A.O. Steve: the “One man pleasuring device…?” – My wife just said “Oooh – when’s he coming over?” And then I said “Oh come on my sweetness and light – last weekend we agreed it was my turn to sit back and watch next time.”

An as for your comment to ‘Gorilla in Manila’, I just can’t get into the ‘knickers’ thing. Which is why I never wear any. Even under my winta keelt. Nothing quite like a cool breeze round yer bongo’s when yer sat waiting for the tube.

And yeahhh…okay. Just cos you got mains electricity and you know we bin cut off. Again. An just cos you know that I know that you know that our poor old donkey generator’s finally pegged it…for good.

Smirk all you like. Just don’t forget “What goes around, come around”. Ee-Aw!!

Steve said...

Phil: when the time comes for retribution I am quite prepared to be hung like a donkey...! ;-)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I got stopped in Tesco once for setting off their alarm. They checked my bags, checked my receipt, look at me up and down, then realised I'd purchased a DVD with a tag still intact. I felt like a criminal. Everyone looked at me.

You were lucky!!

CJ xx

Phil said...

You mean…thou is ‘not’ hung like a mule after all then? Phew!! Okay…you can come over whenever you like. An as it’s nearly Valentines Day, I’ll let her watch for two weekends on the trot. Get it over and done with.

(“trot”… J’get it?)

But then it’s ‘MY’ turn!

Talking of Donkeys and Mule’s, I must slink back over to ‘Very Bored in Catalonia’ again. I was crawling around over there in the dark for the first time last night and I ended up completely wrecking her site when I tried to sign in. Ooops.

Her site wouldna accept my ‘blogga’ icon either. Guess the Interblogpole Rozzer’s got there before me again.

I’d better get back and tidy up some of the mess I made before she gets back from the school run. Otherwise I’m gonna be in Biiiiiiggg Twubble.

Steve said...

CJ: sounds like the store in Leamington is much more lax in it's attitude - nobody checked my receipt or anything. Guess I look amazingly honest. Or I look like a psycho. One of the two.

Phil: not sure I'd want the trots 2 weekends running... as for wrecking blogger... be very careful. You don't want to end up being extradicted to the US for cyber terrorism. They take such things very seriously these days. I hear the FBI have some amazing gadgets which will have you screaming all night long...

Löst Jimmy said...

I'm somewhat glad to note you are referring to new knickers....

Livi said...

Lol! Happens to me sometimes and no one ever does anything (not because I've stolen something, because I bought something elsewhere!). It's good that we're cracking down on crime....!

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: naturally - I can nick old knickers from nextdoor's washing line...

Livi: cracking down on crime is one thing, a crack down on knickers is something else entirely and can get you arrested.

bigwords is... said...

Be honest you were gagging for the full body search!! You must have been disappointed. And anyway if you've still got your wife's present you could always head on back and grab those dvds you wanted!! Great post

Steve said...

Bigwords is: to be honest I'm not sure about the body search; Mr Monobrow had very large hands...