Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Muppet checkouts

Well, it couldn't be any worse, could it ?
  (+8, -3)
(+8, -3)
  [vote for,
against]

Instead of the mouth-breathing dolts typically engaged as checkout operators, the checkout position is occupied by a human-sized Muppet.

Since Muppets are motivated by an arm shoved up their rear, as far as the elbow if not further, they would be just as, if not considerably more, effective than the current system.

8th of 7, Feb 21 2010

self service checkout http://www-03.ibm.c...self/sco/index.html
[mouseposture, Feb 21 2010]

Muppet shoppers http://www.youtube....watch?v=z4YF2sQB8XE
[Amos Kito, Feb 21 2010]

for [8th] here's your muppet worker... http://www.mopo.ca/..._440x617-795500.jpg
[xandram, Feb 23 2010]

Meh! http://www.youtube....EA577A3A79&index=12
[DrBob, Feb 24 2010]

Hrmph! http://www.youtube....?v=VDYsipu7KZQ&NR=1
[DrBob, Feb 24 2010]

Blech! http://www.youtube....?v=7pCW0bd-gH0&NR=1
[DrBob, Feb 24 2010]

[link]






       could one arm up a muppet manipulate the two muppet arms required to check out goods on a conveyor belt?
po, Feb 21 2010
  

       If a midget in a cupboard can operate the controls of a chess-playing "Turk", the answer would have to be yes.
nineteenthly, Feb 21 2010
  

       //could one arm up a muppet manipulate the two muppet arms required to check out goods on a conveyor belt//   

       Considering the move towards a "self-service" (i.e. "no service") checkout with no clerk at all I don't see how a one-armed muppet could be any less effective than that.   

       I choose to take this idea seriously (i.e. not a rant): puppeteers could crouch behind the counter at the self- service checkout line, and stage Punch & Judy shows, or whatnot. I imagine apprentice puppeteers would like the ready-made audience -- with low expectations, and very high turnover -- for working on their act, the customers* would be amused and, perhaps, pleasantly surprised, and the store would get lots of free publicity.   

       There are technical problems to get around (how to deal with unruly kids or irascible customers) but basically, I think it's sound. However, no bun until you explain how explosives come into it.   

       *not [8th of 7] obviously, but the human customers.
mouseposture, Feb 21 2010
  

       [19thly] how many arms does the small person in the cupboard have?
po, Feb 21 2010
  

       // explain how explosives come into it //   

       The tobacco kiosk attendant is Animal ...
8th of 7, Feb 21 2010
  

       Right. Here you go: [+]
mouseposture, Feb 21 2010
  

       Check operators where I take my mother on her weekly shopping trip are funny, caring, helpful and seem smart enough to me.
xenzag, Feb 21 2010
  

       We prefer taciturn bordering on surly - but quick, efficient and competent.
8th of 7, Feb 21 2010
  

       [Po], slightly higher than the mean number, like most of us. If a small person in a cupboard can control a puppet well enough to play chess expertly without that task interfering significantly with their abilities, they could do this. I'm unaware of how it was done, but it was.   

       As [mouseposture] pointed out, self-service exists, so this would be an extra, if anything. It could even be an illusion that the cashier was doing anything useful at all (yeah, yeah).   

       Here's my thought then: the muppet sits on a swivelling stool linked by gears to a person lying in a compartment under the conveyor belt, who can see what's going on through a periscope. They control the muppet's arms using a pantograph which is hinged, so they can also raise and lower the hands. The items and the hands contain magnets, allowing them to adhere to the muppet. The operator can shake them off using the hinge on the pantograph.   

       How do real muppets work?
nineteenthly, Feb 21 2010
  

       No, they'd attract shoppers and keep them browsing in the shop until they finished.
nineteenthly, Feb 21 2010
  

       [+] for the musical interludes. I once went shopping in a big mainstream supermarket that was playing a selection of radical traveller protest indie folk-rock over their PA system.
pocmloc, Feb 21 2010
  

       [pocmloc] yay for good music! I think if the store owner's would pay more attention to those kinds of things, it would be a better shopping experience and indeed maybe make more profit!
I would give this idea a bun only if I could get Oscar the Grouch and they did all the voices!
xandram, Feb 23 2010
  

       Statler and Waldorf close on hand to yell at the fat people buying the super-ultra gigantic bags of chips comes to mind.   

       And I want Sweetums asking me if I want the milk in a bag. That'd be surreally cool.
elhigh, Feb 24 2010
  

       //one arm up a muppet//   

       One way to solve this problem would be to ensure that everything that's sold in the shop is checkoutable using only one hand.   

       The idea doesn't address the motivation of the puppeteers, wouldn't we need equally analy motivated muppet puppeteers as well?
zen_tom, Feb 24 2010
  

       Forget Animal. The tobacco kiosk attendant should be Crazy Harry, the pyromaniac.
RayfordSteele, Feb 24 2010
  
      
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