Restricted Sale

I spent Christmas with the MIL and the rest of the family.  On the way down I stopped off at a Tesco to buy some last minute bits and bobs and needless to say I was the only one in there.

Anyway, I picked up the bits that I wanted and when I had finished found that there was a self scan checkout free.  Yippeeeee I would be in and out in a mo.  So I put my stuff through and all went well until a message flashed up “Restricted Purchase Wait For Assistant”I  stood and waited and people started to form a queue behind me.

I waited and waited and eventiually a Tesco girl with a massive bunch of keys came along. I dont know how old she was, but if pushed I would have said she was about seven, anyway she looks at the machine and my huble shopping and  said “Oh I can’t deal with this!” and scurried off.

Much huffing and puffing from those waiting behind me.

A few moments later the seven year old came back with an older lady who could have been her mum, but I dont think so.  The older lady put a key into the machine and puched some buttons, swiped a card entered a code and I was on the point of them both counting to three and simultaneously pressing a red button to launch a pre-emptive strike.  They stopped short of that, but started to smile their customer service smile when they stopped and looked at me.  “Are you all right sir?” said the girl

“Yes I am just a little confused, what was that all about?”

“You have purchased restricted items sir” she said very pleasantly but as if she was talking to somebody who was deaf or a little simple.

“I have?”

“Oh yes sir and we take the sale of such items very seriously” she replied

“So I can see, but what on Earth have I bought that warrants such security?”

She didn’t quite tut and roll her eyes to heaven at my stupidity, but instead smiled that smile that people have specially for us care in the community cases and reached into my carrier bags and indicated the offending articles.

Famous Names Liquor chocolates and Luxury (no expense spared this year) Christmas crackers (actually they were reduced and were a bargain).

“You’re joking” I found myself saying

“Oh no sir I am not” she bristled “We wouldn’t want these falling into the hands of little ones or the wrong type of people would we sir?”

My mind filled immediately with an image of some terrorist getting pissed on his Famous Names before holding the western world to ransom with the snappers from his box of luxury Christmas Crackers, but I just couldn’t see it somehow.  Then it struck me that maybe I looked like the Wrong type of Person.  I decided that for once instead of being a smart arse I should just sod off and guzzle the devils brew from my chockies by the Christmas tree while pulling a few crackers. Phanarr phanaaar.

The festive season was very agreeable, but it did strike me how complicated family life is these days.  Maybe it always was, I don’t know, but it was brought home to me this time because it was the first time I had spent any time with the BIL since his split from Dawn and the little Tete a Tete we had in the Holiday Inn.  I had no grudge to bear and said as much as soon as I saw him. He relaxed a bit, but I don’t think he was entirely sure.

He and Dawn were a little on edge with each other to start with, but in fairness that soon wore off and they were very amicable in front of the kids and everyone else.   I noticed neither drank and the FIL and I kept the famous names and the crackers away from them just in case……….. I mean lordy we didn’t want the Christmas afternoon showing of Mama Mia interrupted by drunks causing explosions.

I did get to watch most of my festive favourites namely Home Alone 1&2, The Muppets Christmas Carol, the Santa Clause and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  The rest of the time I made War Hammer models, put batteries into things, assembled plastic Barbie houses repaired the things I helped build earlier and played a variety of very intellectual games the best one of which involved hitting a mole on the head with a plastic mallet.

Its bollocks really, but I did enjoy it.

4 Responses to “Restricted Sale”

  1. JH says:

    Clearly the lady from Tescos was good Judge of Character and yes you do look like a desperate wrong type of person.

    Not a young one though

  2. havingmycake says:

    I am relieved to note that there was no Lego. I defy anyone to build any of their larger creations (particularly staircases) without resorting to Famous Names and exploding crackers.

  3. Uncle says:

    JH – you say the kindest things baldy.

    J – I am better with Lego than I ever was with Mecanno. But hells teeth those Lego bricks hurt when you stand on the, in bare feet. Every boxing day it happens.

  4. dl says:


    Had a similar experience at one of these self-scan places, trying to make a discreet exit with something as dangerous as a packet of 16 paracetomol. It seemed obvious to all concerned – except me – that I was about to wreak havoc on society, armed with those little beauties.

    But Christmas crackers place you in an entirely separate ballpark. Just what were you planning to do with all that explosive material?

    D. 🙂

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