Thursday, 17 May 2007

Clothing tag removal (no theft)

Last summer I went travelling around Eastern Europe avec boyfriendo, and we stopped in Prague for a spot of shopping before catching our train somewhere else. Off I hopped into New Yorker, the big department store there, and found myself a couple of tops to add to my wardrobe. I gladly purchased, left the shop, trotted onto the train and off on the rest of our travels.

All good until I opened the plastic bag wanting to flaunt my new clothing and found that the absolute speng of a sales assistant had not removed the ink security tag from it. Ohhh you utter slag, thought I, that really takes the kit-kat. Now, being a good few hundred miles away from the shop by now and with no intention of turning back, I was left with a dilemma. Given that I was living out of a backpack, it should come as no surprise for those who have read about my trouble with keeping things tidy that I of course lost the receipt. This left me no option other than to a) go into another shop, receipt-less and risk looking like a common thief 'Ooh could you take this tag off, I didn't steal it, really I didn't' or option b) which I decided on: ignore it, leave the tag on, let top sit in wardrobe unworn forever as shrine to crap European shop assistants (oh sure, the tag was faulty...whatever).

Fast forward eight months.

The other day I thought 'Right. Enough. I paid for it, so god damn it I'm going to wear, even if the tag contains octopus ink and it kills me'.

First stop: google and this article. I joined the apparently hundreds of other people searching for an ink-tag solution, all proclaiming their shoplifting innocence and blaming the wanky shop assistants for their error.

Let me set a few things straight at this point.

- Tying a rubber band round the tag until it 'just pops off' does not work. (Day 1)
- Burning away the plastic until the tag 'just melts off' does not work. It just makes you (and your house) stink of burning plastic. (Day 2)
- To the bloke who suggested liquid nitrogen / using power tools - the only corrosive liquid I am possession of is nail varnish remover, and my power tools are along the lines of hair straighteners. (in case you're interested, neither work, I tried on Day 4)

So I resorted to good old fashioned violence (Day 5):


1) Assess situation with housemate. 'LOVVVE, do you think this stuff will be poisonous?'
2) Take one frying pan (already dented due to an incident with a frozen chicken), cover tag bound top in plastic bag with ink tag sticking out.
3) Go outside, place it on the floor.
4) Smash the living daylights out of it.
5) Ink spills.
6) Have a sniff. Check its not skin eroding.
7) Assess situation with housemate. 'LOVVVVE, don't worry about the red stuff all over the porch, it's not blood...and you know that frying pan...'
8) Concede to smashing it a few more times.
9) Realise excess smashing has caused tag to make holes in top.
10) Swear.
11) Use of brute force to remove all plastic leaving just the metal bit.
12) Pull top away through holes tag has made.
13) Smile, because tag is off.
14) Frown, top has holes in the side.
15) Wear top around house all day in security tag triumph.

And there you have it folks. When trusty sales assistants let you down in doing the simplest of tasks, fear not - a frying pan and plastic bag will do the trick.


Disclaimer: This isn't promoting theft, in fact it would be utter retardation to nick something and try this method out.

PS. I wore the top last night with another black top under it. No one suspected a thing.

PPS. Teehee.


the boy who likes to... said...

The missus once had a tag left on some item she had bought. Although this was from a shop that was only a few minutes away so we didnt have to go through an 8 month ordeal

Jo said...
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Jerrold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerrold said...

The oblong side (the one with the glass ink vials) is designed to give way FIRST if you try to pry the two ends apart from one another, shattering the vials. I took a pair of "aviation shears" (compound scissors-from-hell available for about $15 at any hardware store) and started cutting apart the grey side (the one WITHOUT the ink). When I got to the raised bump in the center (which contains the latch mechanism) I began to cut through the bump parallel to the fabric until the actual latch mechanism fell apart. From there, I just pulled the pin through. It's very important NOT to actually pull the two sides of the tag away from one another. That's what you're SUPPOSED to try, thereby causing the tag to do EXACTLY what it's supposed to do. Didn't break the vials, didn't get ink on my new jeans, didn't make any unintended holes, didn't go blind.

Me: 1.
Flaky Urban Outfitters Cashier: 0.


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