Thursday, 6 April 2017


Audio to follow
There was something in my bag that was making the alarms at the entrance to Tesco ring. I knew this because I’d set them off on the way into the Tesco in Canton and on the way back out again and then again on the way into Tesco Express in town. Don’t get me wrong I’m not some kind of Tesco junkie, visiting as many stores as I can in a day, but today it just so happened that I needed Tesco twice. 
Now, I was in store, I had a problem, a big problem; if the security guard checked my bag after it set the alarms off again on the way out as he surely would, he would find the medical tape I’d bought early and assumed that I’d shoplifted it. Would he believe me that I’d been to the Canton store on my way into town?
I considered my options. I could just stay in the store for the rest of my life. After all, there was plenty to eat and drink. But that wasn’t really very practical. For a start, there was no Wi-Fi signal. I couldn’t live without Wi-Fi. 
I could walk briskly out of the store and then leg it. Run as fast as my aging legs could carry me and hope it was faster than the ageing security guy. But surely that would just prove my guilt, even though I was innocent. 
I could wait until some hooligan was leaving the store and hope that the security guard would adhere to stereotypes and stop and search the hoodlum, letting me get away scot-free. That was probably my best option, but wouldn’t loitering around the exit look a bit suspicious?
Sweat dripped down my back, I was imagining being taken away in handcuffs, the officer shielding my head as he ushered me into the police car just as three or four of my friends came walking by. The shame was too much to bear.
This could be the greatest miscarriage of justice since the Birmingham Four. I would be locked up and the key disposed of all for a few rolls of tape and a lost receipt. I wondered who would start the ‘Free the Tesco one campaign’? Who would be my Jill Morrell?
The moment of truth had arrived. I handed over my Clubcard and the eighty pence for the pint of milk and headed towards the door. The alarm bleeped but I ignored it. I just walked and walked, not looking back, and to my amazement, no one came after me. Freedom had never tasted so good. 

No comments:

Post a Comment