THERE are many questions raised by the strange case of Antony Worrall Thompson, celebrity chef, celebrity smoker, celebrity Tory toff and now celebrity shoplifter.
These include what exactly is the well-documented link between traumatic life events (such as one’s company going into administration) and risky behaviour? Should multinationals have the right to film shoppers? Is the police caution system biased towards well-known or solvent individuals? And what is the point of self-scanning check-outs?
But for Squinter, easily the most vexatious issue of the many thrown up by this latest celebrity scandal is this: how come cheese is the most shoplifted item in supermarkets?
It’s true. Survey after survey has shown that more cheese goes walkabouts from the supermarket shelves than any other product and, indeed, it was cheese and wine with which Worrall Thompson hairy-beared it on five occasions before he got his sizeable collar felt. Certainly, a good cheese can be expensive. A 600g pack of mature cheddar from a top manufacturer will probably cost you around seven quid, which is not cheap, but then it’s not exactly a must-have item in the way that batteries and disposable razors are. So attractive are the aforementioned items that nearly all 24-hour garages and an increasing number of shops keep them behind the tills or at the customer services desk. The problem with cheese is that there aren’t many chilled cabinets behind those tills or at that customer services desk.
Maybe that’s about to change. In the meantime as you loiter before the Cathedral City, the Stinking Bishop and the McLelland Seriously Strong, don’t be overly worried if you get the feeling that someone’s watching you.
It’s all enough to give a poor shopper nightmares.