Joker has asked me to write a guest blog about how his boy's dressing gown tag came to be removed.
At first I was deeply honoured. Then, being the old cynic I am, I realised I really am the only writer who can do it. I am the only witness able to give a first paw account of what happened. This is for two reasons. First, herself's cowardice. Secondly, because Tesco's are not too keen on lurchers, however eminent, lurking with very definite intent around the meat fridges.
Joker's boy has, since Christmas Day, been compelled to wear a dressing gown with a security tag attached. This was not of much concern in Joker's sartorially challenged household except to the wearer, who strongly objected to being tagged. For transatlantic readers, this has connotations of a negative involvement with the criminal justice system. At best, it made herself look like a shoplifter.
It was perhaps for such reason that herself bottled out of taking the dressing gown back to the store herself. Using all her powers of persuasion and a bottle of Dr Loosen's riesling, I was cajoled into taking the dressing gown and receipt ( for, despite scurrilous growls to the contrary, she is not a shoplifter) for the tag to be removed.
My problems began when I hadn't appreciated that the security sensors wail just as loudly when you go into the store with a tagged item as when you leave it. All heads turned to look at me. Including the security guard's. Keen to make his first arrest of the day, he trotted officiously over to apprehend me. He was much disappointed when it became apparent that I was not making off out of the store with a stolen item but was heading the wrong way, brandishing a receipt above my head. Deflated, he accompanied me to the customer service counter. Perhaps hopeful that there might still be something dodgy to detect.
I then had the task of giving a credible explanation to a formidable lady in charge of the tag removal gun as to: (a) why the dressing gown was only now being brought back for de-tagging some weeks after Xmas Day; (b) how the purchaser herself had not been apprehended when the alarm went off as she left the store and (c) why herself had not brought it back. She gave me a pitying look and reached for her gun. I was put out of my misery. The tag was removed.
Apologies to my patron and his kind for those last sentences. They were a bit near the bone.