Each week the Romford Recorder has the Steve Allen column. If you're in the Romford area you can buy the newspaper every Friday, or follow @mrstevenallen to see the columns on Twitter. You can also read the archive of past ones, which can be found here.
You can click the image to zoom in on the paper, or read the column below.
On my way back home from a stand-up gig, one thing I like about this area is the 24-hour supermarkets you can pop into. It saves a visit to a motorway services which can be a little on the expensive side. Post-Brexit I'm watching every penny.
If you've been in a supermarket that late you'll know you have to use the self-scan tills. I used to love them, it saved the awkward chit chat of getting served. They ask if you're OK with your packing, you say yes and they they take it as an invitation to bowl at you like you're Alastair Cook.
New research has shown that self-scan tills have turned us into a nation of thieves. The number of items that get nicked from supermarkets has doubled since the machines have been brought it.
Apparently it's the lack of human contact. In which case I've been in relationships where I'm amazed I didn't pilfer more.
I know nicking stuff from a self-scan wouldn't make a very good heist film. There'll never be a scene in a movie with George Clooney saying, ”OK, Rusty, you go in as the shopper.
Linus, you stand by him at the check-out making beep sounds, and Turk, you tie the helium balloons to the bagging area to counteract the weights...”
I have always believe that morals are innate, that we have a natural sense of right and wrong, but this means the only reason people don't nick stuff is that they don't want to get caught.
In the future, when machines are in charge, we'll be doing any crime we can get away with. Robocop lied to us.
Instead of going to late night supermarkets I may have to go back to motorway services, where the only robbery is in the prices.