Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Inflatable Lumpy Mass

Air-filled rubber to encourage petty theft
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Disclaimer: I do not condone theft, embezzlement, loitering, or public indecency.

Let's say - purely hypothetically, of course - that I wanted to go shoplifting. In order to achieve the maximum yield of stolen product per trip, I'm going to try to fill a bag with goods before I walk out. Sure, I could walk into the store with an empty bag, stuff things into it, and then sneak through the exit, but anyone who saw me enter and leave would be able to notice the striking difference in volume between my bag before and after I took an unusually long time to amble through the canned goods section. Then, horror of horrors, I would be caught and reprimanded - a truly awful proposition. Sure, I could stuff a balled-up sweater into the bag when I walk in, but that would set a distinctly different profile - smooth and round - from the lumpy, inconsistent shape of the bulging sack o' goods I would walk out with. Again, I would be more vulnerable than ever to detection.

So, for this variety of crime, an inflatable rubber air bladder in the shape of a vaguely lumpy mass would really come in handy. I could inflate it just enough to fill my larger bag, walk into the store, and then covertly deflate it in the aisle before filling the bag with stolen goods in order to return it to an irregular shape. Thus, I would be able to make off with a bag full of illegally obtained merchandise without being overly obvious about it.

Given its intended audience, though, selling this product may prove to be a bit difficult.

DrWorm, Dec 19 2011

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       Women filling oversized handbags with inflated party balloons and then surreptitiously popping them in a quiet corner of the store (or using wads of paper or self-delivered infants, which they then leave in the dressing room) is a time-honored shop-lifting technique. I'm sorry, but this is baked.
Alterother, Dec 20 2011
  

       On the other hand, it has a really good title.
mouseposture, Dec 20 2011
  

       Yes, it does. I suggest that it be repurposed. That's also quite a snappy quip at the end, there.
Alterother, Dec 20 2011
  

       I love you, inflatable lumpy mass.
bungston, Dec 20 2011
  

       // I do not condone theft, embezzlement, loitering, or public indecency. //   

       Tell us again why you come here, then ...   

       It would be better if the "mass" actually had some mass, i.e. it contained some water or sand so that your bag had both volume and weight, said ballast being discreetly disposed of before the commencement of premeditated larceny.
8th of 7, Dec 20 2011
  

       Me? Come here?   

       Anyway, the idea behind this is that it's deflatable, unlike a balloon, and thus reusable, to a degree. So, [Alterother], I guess that addresses your objection, to a certain degree, although making a pre-existing item reusable is admittedly a pretty weak basis for an HB idea.
DrWorm, Dec 20 2011
  

       If this mass were attached to a tube or pipe, one could place an object in the pipe then sit abruptly on the mass, causing the object to be expelled rapidly from the pipe.   

       One problem: you would need to reinflate the lumpy mass before doing this again and to do this well one would need to cease sitting on it.
bungston, Dec 30 2014
  
      
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