Sorry I haven’t made an entry for a while, but Mrs Umpire and I have been away for a few days to the Isle of Wight. I must record in these pages how modern technology completely confounded me in a supermarket in Newport.
Wednesday night, Mrs U And I had a lovely Italian meal in Ryde* - including some delightful Chianti -and were on our way on Thursday morning to Sandown to visit CodgerWorld, when, what with the wine and the very bright sunshine I was overcome with a f**king mighty headache. Seeking relief we found the Morrisons supermarket in Newport and went in to purchase some Paracetamol.
Looking at the lengthy queues at all the manned checkouts, we went to an automatic till. Bad mistake; having scanned the bar code for the first packet of pills, red lights flashed and I was challenged by the machine – in a tinny voice – to prove that I was over 17.
I am 68. I have a very white beard. I walk with a stoop. My eyes are bloodshot and surrounded by what are laughingly known as “laughter lines”. I haven’t been asked to prove my age for at least the last forty years – and certainly never before by a machine.
Enter lady supervisor stage right to tap in her authorisation code; exit lady supervisor stage right. Elderly umpire scans second packet of Paracetamol and entire process has to be repeated. My fury was unleashed on that cash register and all technology that hinders rather than helps, and I later beat the punchball machine at CodgerWorld to a pulp.
Don’t tell me ever again that the I.O.W. is still living in the fifties!
• If you are ever in Ryde, try Olivo in Union Street – magical Italian food!