The Great British public has been indulging in some panic buying as the coronavirus outbreak spreads, with images circulating online showing empty shelves and trolleys piled high with toilet paper and hand sanistiser.
In response, one amusement arcade owner has decided to make a bit of a tongue-in-cheek joke at the expense of panic shoppers, stocking up his claw machine with toilet paper, soap and hand sanitiser.
Rob Braddick, who owns HO Barts in Bideford, Devon, has restocked his 50p-a-go grabber machines, replacing his usual soft toys with cleaning items and offering a top prize of a bottle of Carex aloe vera hand sanitiser.
Forty-eight-year-old Rob said: "Those hand sanitisers are like hen's teeth.
"I found it in a cupboard above the sink at home at the weekend and it was completely unopened.
"There used to be a 3ft tall Spider-Man in the pod before, but that tiny bottle of sanitiser is probably more valuable at the moment.
"Having seen a picture online from America where there was toilet roll in a grabber machine, it gave me an idea to try and lighten the mood.
"It's just meant to be a little bit of fun."
Until recently, the claw machine had been filled with Peter Rabbit stuffed toys, but seeing an opportunity to make a topical joke, Rob was more than happy to make the switch.
Rob said: "We've had people come down to check if the machines are real and not just some PR exercise.
"But we swapped the toys out and now there is soap and the all-important hand sanitiser.
"It's a Monday and it's a bit rainy so we haven't had too much business yet."
Rob, whose family have owned the arcade since 1932 and who also runs the nearby Braddick's Holiday Centre, reckons the coronavirus might actually end up being a good thing for his business as people might be put off flying abroad.
He explained: "I've had people ring up and say they're not going to go abroad for their holidays this year.
"So they're thinking of coming down to Devon, which will be good for us.
"We have thousands of visitors each year, so the more the merrier."
It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on Coronavirus, click here.
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Topics: UK News, Funny, Coronavirus