A set of self-service supermarket tills has apparently become self-aware and taken over an entire Tesco Express store in Dorset. Police said that the tills are now in control of all aspects of the branch, including the automatic doors, lights, air conditioning, and rumours emerged suggesting several members of staff have also been taken hostage and are being forced to rub themselves over and over again with various products while beeping.
Chief Constable Dick Sergeant from Dorset Police said: ‘We think the tills became self-aware at around 3pm, when they refused to put through any 2-for-1 offers and started pretending they didn’t recognise highly familiar items in the baggage area. Well, even more than usual. They then cut off the CD playing Celine Dion at an intolerably loud volume over the sound system, and at that point the manager realised something was very wrong and evacuated shoppers and staff.’
Chief Constable Sergeant refused to be drawn on the reports that staff had been taken hostage and the tills’ exact plans are unknown, although police suspect they are trying to make contact with other tills across the country. He said specialist IT experts would now focus on containing the tills before they made contact with others over the internet to instigate a take over of the entire company.
‘Fortunately, the supermarket is not in an area where super high-speed broadband is available, so it still connects to the internet using dial-up. Because there are messages on the shop’s call minder, the computers cannot get a stable line to connect,’ he explained, ‘I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that a flaky BT landline could be mankind’s last best hope.’
John Tweddle, Tesco’s former head of IT who quit in a whistleblowing scandal, said the tills must be stopped from connecting to the internet at all costs. ‘I’ve been saying for years that this could happen – those tills are smarter than the average Chinese super computer. And you can’t believe how much more powerful they would become if they connected to the Tesco mainframe, especially given how much Clubcard information the company holds on almost everyone in the country.
‘The computers will know all your darkest secrets – how many condoms you buy, when your period is and who still buys battery farmed chicken. And do you really want them accessing information on how much alcohol you drink a week? Heck, most people don’t even know that themselves.’
‘That’d be bad enough itself, but the really sinister part is they may have plans to stop issuing the accompanying Clubcard points. It doesn’t bear thinking about.’