Pretend you're a born again Christian: How to fend off a chatty shop assistant

THERE’S nothing worse than minding your own business in a shop and an assistant having the audacity to engage with you. Here’s how to deter them effectively.

Ask questions back

Freak them out by really involving them in your purchase. Ask what they think your friend would like for her 40th, which car vacuum would suit your husband’s character, how they feel about you braving a thigh-high boot. If they’re British and naturally awkward enough, they should soon remember some made-up task they need to do ‘out the back’.

Pretend you don’t speak English

Channel your GCSE French and tell them ‘Je ne comprends pas’. Then pray to the gods of garlic, berets and lazy stereotypes that they don’t start chatting back to you in flawless Français. If they do, just react how you did in your oral exams at school and say ‘J’ai 15 ans’ on repeat until they conclude you must be unhinged and scuttle off to the far side of the shop.

Preemptively wear headphones

Preferably massive over-the-head ones that will make them think twice before approaching you, but earbuds will work if put in or readjusted ostentatiously enough. If the shop assistant is mad enough to overlook your flagrant rudeness and still try to chat, fake an intimate phone call eg. with a sexual health clinic. The more gruesome gynaecological details the better.

Pretend you’re a born again Christian

Nothing is a guaranteed person-repellent like the words, ‘Can I talk to you about Jesus?’ However dedicated a shop assistant is to their job, when you start spouting nonsense like ‘You take your car for an MOT, but have you ever had an MOT for your soul?’ they’ll definitely excuse themselves, probably while reconsidering a customer-facing role.

Be overfamiliar and possibly insane

Take them by surprise by pretending you know them. Usually an overexcited ‘How are you doing?’ will be enough, but if you’ve got the stomach for it, give them a hug, a peck on the cheek, a passionate snog. They’ll be too busy trying to piece together who you are and what the hell just happened to interrupt any further as you enjoy a peaceful browse.

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Driver doing 20 in a 30 briefly becomes most hated man on planet

A MAN driving at 20mph in a 30mph zone briefly joined the ranks of tyrants and mass killers as the most loathed person on earth.

Stephen Malley, 42, was going to Asda in his Skoda Fabia when he spent nearly six minutes driving 10mph below the limit, causing levels of hatred more usually found at war crime trials.

Experts believe that for a period of about two minutes, Malley surpassed infamous hate figures like Vladimir Putin, Adolf Hitler and James Corden.

Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies, said: “The level of collective annoyance was off the scale. It’s a miracle nobody ran him off the road and fellow drivers – male and female – dragged him from his car and ripped his limbs off.

“From a scientific perspective he’s a benchmark for all future research into human anger. Jeremy Clarkson is at the low end of the scale, and he deserves to have a stick of lighted dynamite rammed up his arse.”

Malley remains oblivious to the level of fury he triggered with his painfully slow driving.

He said: “I might have been one or two miles under the limit but I don’t think anyone noticed. A bloke behind me kept beeping and flashing his lights, but that’ll be because one of my back tyres is a bit flat. Cheers, mate.”