Saturday, 10 August 2013

An Unintelligent Machine

A few days ago I visited my Sainsbuy Supermarket and bought just one thing - a bottle of milk. Using the automated till I absent mindedly told it I was using two of my own bags. I usually distribute my stuff between two bags, and only after pressing the 'enter' button did I realise  I'd told it I was using two bags for just one item.

I feared that red lights and alarm bells would herald my imminent arrest for 'over-bagging' or whatever the word is for claiming to be using more bags than one is, but all was well. I was credited with two points for my bags, and went my way.

Afterwards a particularly wicked thought came to me. The maximum number of bags one may claim for is nine, and each bag earns a point worth half a penny. Therefore anyone buying an item costing 4p or less and claiming to be carrying it away in nine bags, could get enough points to cover the purchase with a halfpenny to spare.

What can one buy for fourpence in Sainsbury's ?

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