I have a friend, no names no packdrill. She’s an inveterate very minor shoplifter.

I emphasise minor. She’s not plundering designer clothing or shoes from Jimmy Choo. It’s very low level. I am not claiming that theft is acceptable. But hear me out, OK?

My friend is a bit like me, mildly infirm. I use a walking stick. She uses one of those really bloody irritating tartan dragalong shoppers. I’ve had some stiff words with her about this course of action, I’ll tell you that for free. Get your shopping delivered and stop pissing me off.

However, the tartan shopper is quite a good aid to shoplifting. But she doesn’t shoplift for herself, the annoying shopper is more a four dimensional aid where things disappear in it to be non-detectable. Stuff goes in there, and it vanishes from the normal three dimensions. Pop! Gone! And her neighbour, an elderly person on a low income, suddenly gets a jar of honey that costs her nothing. She likes honey, can’t afford it.

This is the interesting thing. The security guys and gals know my friend is mildly fiddling, and as long as she isn’t taking the piss, when the door sensors beep, they just wave her on.

I’ve done this. I’ve worked security in a supermarket. Yep, the man trying to boost a case of scotch (sloppy shelfwork by stackers leaving that up for grabs), I’d nab him. But you get to know the ones pulling a minor fast one, you just shake your head knowingly and let them get away with it. Too much paperwork, and the coppers won’t turn up for two hours. Hard work.

So, good luck to my tartan shopper friend and her honey for somebody of lesser means. My friend isn’t rich. But she’s better off than her neighbour.

But the sodding tartan shopper is still a major bloody irritation as a concept.