A spokesperson for Tesco has confirmed that their store in Southend On Sea will be the first in the UK to install psychic self-service checkouts – it is hoped that these will put an end to the much-hated error message about there being an unexpected item in the bagging area. According to the checkout’s inventor Nigel Spoon, the till points use psychic-capable equipment to reduce queueing times by 25%.

Mr Spoon said: ‘We all know how frustrating it is to have an unexpected item in the bagging area, but what if an item could never be classed as unexpected? By making the checkouts psychic, they are able to predict exactly what the customer is about to put into the bagging area, and they can even predict when they are going to take a carrier bag without paying 5p. As an added bonus, Tesco can then deploy members of staff to other areas of the store instead of having them hovering over you like some kind of tea-towel clad sparrow hawk.’

He added: ‘The software in these checkouts can be adapted for any current promotions in store. When they go live in Southend, customers will be able to redeem Clubcard points to contact friends and relatives who have passed over to the other side – we can even offer a Q&A with Elvis Presley.’