Apparently we are only ever a matter of a few feet away from a rat! This is the four legged variety we are talking about; the one that most people feel adverse to with their long and slimy-looking tail.
Even though the rat is amongst those species that could be described as public enemy number one, it is not that frequent for people to feel the need to take action against them. But sometimes their presence becomes just too apparent.
A colleague reported to The Howie Bizarre Column recently that he went to the local garden centre to buy some rat poison to deal with a growing infestation in some outbuildings he owned. In customary fashion he picked up from the shelf a 3kg tub of poison – enough to get him through the winter – on which was displayed a price of £17.89 and he went to the check out.
“Do you have a licence to buy that quantity,” asked the young lad behind the till.
“Why do I need a licence?” he replied. “I have been buying rat poison here for years. You have never asked me that question before!”
“New regulations!” replied the lad in a rather bored fashion.
Scratching his head, our colleague told the lad that he did not have a licence and enquired as to what he could buy without a licence.
“We have precisely the same product in 300g bags. You can buy them without a licence,” replied the lad.
“And how many of those bags can I buy without a licence,” he enquired.
“As many as you want,” came the reply. “They cost £6.99 a bag.”
It didn’t take much arithmetic dexterity to work out that if he bought ten bags it would be precisely the same amount of the same product at the same strength as buying one tub. Yet one tub cost £17.89 while ten bags cost £69.90.
Now this is the sort of thing that we, at the Howie Bizarre Column, believe is ridiculous.
Whether the blame for this apparent absurdity is caused by regulation or whether it is the retail industry taking advantage of a situation is not clear. But, either way, it’s a right rat trap rip-off!