Here was a puzzler from Roy Gudka, who runs the Toy Box in Central London. He says that a girl came into the store to buy cigarettes for her disabled dad who was supposedly outside in a car. Roy asked her for ID, but she had none. When he refused to serve her, she left.
He asked me was this a trap?
Well, maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t. She may have been trying to buy them for herself on the pretext that she had a disabled dad parked outside somewhere. One would hope that trading standards wouldn’t stoop that low in a sting. In any case, Roy did the right thing in erring on the side of caution.
Once upon a time, when shops really were on corners, or situated in the front rooms of houses, little Johnny would sometimes show up with a note from his mum asking for a packet of Weights (no, I’m not quite hundreds of years old, but I’ve read my history).
Of course, if you have lots of staff and if the car is within easy distance it would be possible to check… but in London? Leave your till to see whether an adult really wants some cigarettes and you could return to find the rest of the fags gone.
I told Roy I would ask in the column whether anyone else has experienced something similar.