The first thing I thought when I heard about Anthony Worrall Thompson’s shoplifting spree was how odd it was that middle-aged women no longer seem to be doing this. It used to be all the rage among the hot-flushers – the papers used to be full of women of a certain age saying they ‘didn’t know what came over them’. Nowadays, unless I am very much mistaken, they’ve given it up.
Now that I am dangerously teetering on the edge of hot flushes myself, I am beginning to understand, for the first time, how these women might actually have wanted the attention of being caught red-handed with an extra tin of peaches about their person. I’ve noticed that cars no longer stop when I want to cross the road, shop assistants no longer hover to help me find what I need, and even AA men are less prone to chat. Middle-aged women just start to disappear.
But, oddly, they no longer seem to be trying to get arrested to make up for it. Maybe they are all taking HRT, to keep their minds focused as they wander the supermarket aisles. Maybe they order everything from Ocado and stay at home watching Loose Women instead. Maybe being menopausal/hormonal isn’t quite as much of an isolating, dislocating experience these days. I certainly hope so.
Meanwhile, there’s Anthony Worrall Thompson, caught red-handed with some very unexpected items in the bagging area at his self-service till. Gosh, I hope he doesn’t start some sort of copycat movement among mid-life media men. All we need is Jeremy Clarkson hogging even more of the spotlight by ramming purloined asparagus down his ill-fitting cord trousers.