A new use for ping pong balls

Ping pong balls are useful for several things – playing ping pong (of course), cat toys, playing beer pong, bingo balls, juggling balls and science experiments.


but….I saw a new use for them recently —- as crowd control in a supermarket! Sweden does not have lockdown but they do strictly restrict the number of people allowed in shops. Only a certain number are allowed in at a time. Usually there is someone standing at the door, limiting entrance. They manually count the number of people going in and out, but this is difficult if a shop allows hundreds of people and there are several entrances.

At this supermarket entrance I saw a giant basket of branded ping pong balls next to the baskets and trolleys. There were 160 people allowed in the shop, and 160 balls. Every person going in took a ball, which they placed in their basket. When the balls were all gone from the basket, no one else was allowed in. The ball was taken back from the customer/s at checkout, disinfected, and returned to the basket, allowing more people to go in. I am not sure how well it worked but I was really intrigued.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

2 thoughts

  1. I really liked the pastel light fixture. It’s so….. girly, which I definitely am not. It’s. Just. So. So. Pwetty.

    As to the thing with the ping pong balls in the supermarket, I have no clue as to how it works. I usually try to figure things out, but this doesn’t make any kind of sense to me. Dunno.

    Then I started asking questions: What if someone decided not to pick up a ping pong ball with his/her basket and just returned the basket (because not everyone is compliant, and there are rebels in this world). Would there be an argument? Would there be a riot if the non-compliant ones ganged up on the employee(s)? Would certain customers be kicked out of the supermarket because they didn’t pick up a ball? But of course these questions are moot if it’s mandatory (gotta love that word because of year 2020) that you pick up the ball along with your basket. 😉

    1. I reread it and it did not make any sense at all to me either Winola. So now I have added and edited and hopefully it is clearer. Thanks for the heads-up!

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