Next time, take your hat

We all know that you can’t go anywhere these days without being watched by someone or something. We have become used to being recorded, taped and screened. All this technology is fine until humans get involved. This, I’m sad to say, is where the chaos begins – as I have just found out on what should have been an innocent trip to the local supermarket.

Now for a baldy like me the winter poses grave dangers in the ‘Jesus my freekin’ head is cold’ department which often requires extensive use of a hat. On this occasion though I felt man enough to go without, after all, it’s only a two minute walk to the local shop for heavens sake. Unfortunately my senseless bravado was stripped from me after about thirty seconds, resulting in a chilly bonce.

As luck would have it I put up the hood on my fleece. Excellent, problem solved. Next to be dealt with was the glaring sunshine which was suitably controlled with my RayBans. So here I am in what is technically a hoodie, sunglasses, combat trousers and trainers. I hasten to add that I also don’t look like an eighteen year old with an ASBO either. (Oops, there I go with the labelling thing again, sorry, must stop that)

No sooner do I get into the shop than I’m being given the once over by the Security Guard. Realising he was assessing my risk potential I lowered my hood, removed my sunglasses and proceeded to smile at him reassuringly. I picked up a basket and moved into Salads and Fruit. I turned round and the guard is following me. I’m sorry? At what point did I become a drug dealer or a thief? Hang on, you’ve seen me in here dozens of times so what’s with the sudden attention dick face?

Off to Milk and Dairy next, bugger me he’s still in hot pursuit. So I stop now and linger, picking up one tin after another just to piss him off. It worked. He disappeared for a few moments. Maybe some real criminals had come in or maybe he was due a break or something? Pity he hadn’t spotted two kids nicking a leg of lamb …

I didn’t see him again until I got down to the freezer section and faced the tills. There he was, stood at the back, arms folded, chest out. So I strolled along and decided which till to go to so he moved too and walked to the one I was at. At this point I should have changed to another one just to see him walk up and down again following me. It would have been like Security Guard pinball, brilliant!

I paid for my stuff, bagged it up and put my hood back up. Sure enough he was stood right beside me. I was ready- just in case we entered into a dialogue. He would have spouted out some standard company blurb about suspecting I had stolen washing powder or something then I would have replied with something along the lines of wasting everyone’s time and questioning the size of his genitalia etc… Fortunately, it didn’t come to that (pity). I left, smiled politely at him again and walked out.

It seems such a shame that the one item of clothing can separate you from good and bad these days and the label you are given accordingly carries it’s own stereotype. Even more worrying is that people generally accept that and don’t bother to judge one another on an individual basis. I think this is why we have become like we have as a society. Nobody cares anymore. I wonder if the guard’s opinion would have shifted if I had quoted Chaucer or asked him for his recommendation in choosing a good Cabernet Sauvignon? That would be to prove a point not to brag.

I don’t object to being followed like a thief, I object to being classed as one without even stealing anything. Maybe next time I will put a hat on and leave the hood down. Or I could put my badly fitted suit on. Mind you, I would no doubt get followed again – this time for looking like a twat, you should see how bad my suit looks! I think if that were the case, I would probably deserve it! I look like I sell dodgy used cars when I wear it, not good at all…

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