Thursday, March 27, 2014

Worst Shoplifter Ever or Best?

I'm at BP gas station purchasing some drinks when I turn around and see this old guy stooped over in the aisles. He's raking his hands over a display of candy bars until his fingers grasp one or two and he shoves them in the inside of his coat pocket. Clumsy and fumbling, he does this routine a few more times. The clerks -who are 3 ft away- seem to take special care to look away but I'm staring directly at the guy, fascinated by this strange game that's playing out.

Perhaps the gawking made the old man uncomfortable because then he said loudly to the clerks 'good evening, sirs!' while tucking the items deeper into his pockets. I open my mouth to say something but then I stop...what am I going to say?  Three clerks clearly see this.

I slowly walk behind the old man and he puts a few items on the counter and pays for them (but not the candy bars in his jacket). I pause for a moment and look at the clerks and then the old man. All appears to be right with everyone here, except for me.

I left thinking of all the scenarios...maybe he was an uncle who has fallen on hard times and they let him shoplift out of charity or family shame. Maybe he was mentally ill and they figured it was better to just let him grab a few things. Maybe there are just agreements made in this world that are not for me to understand. 

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