This number represents the grand total (so far) of things I have accidentally and unknowingly stolen during my life. Some years ago Andrew and I stopped at a Safeway in BC on our Toronto to Vancouver road trip. I rifled through a magazine that was posted at the cashier's station called "Safeway Gourmet" with contained recipes and advertisements for Safeway brand products. I liked a few of the recipes, so I tucked it under my arm as Andrew paid for the groceries and off we went.
As soon as we got in the car, Andrew smiled a bit and said--"Oh you're smooth. I didn't know you were into lifting magazines. Didn't you see how that cashier was staring you down?"
At first, I thought he was kidding me. Who ever heard of paying for a magazine with mostly Safeway product advertisements and a handful of recipes? And wouldn't the cashier had said something? In disbelief I searched the magazine up and down for an indicator of a price tag and finally found the hefty cost of 99 Canadian cents.
Guilty as charged. But we were already on the road and had a schedule to keep. So off we drove. For a grocery chain which I frequently shop, I just couldn't wrack up any guilt over 99 cents whatsoever. Besides, the cashier clearly saw me with the magazine--so why didn't she say anything or ring it into the sale? I honestly had not a clue it was for purchase.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago--Andrew and I are perusing the household goods section of City People's Mercantile which is filled with all sorts of both interesting (stationery, kitchen gadgets, cutesy bath goods) and practical (door mats, basic hardware supplies, etc) goodies. In the midst of our shopping, a friend I hadn't spoken to in quite some time called me and I chatted with her while following Andrew around. I had one of the items on our list (bath mat 'dots') in my hand. I stood within 5 feet of Andrew as he paid and we both left the store. I was still yakking with my girlfriend up until we arrived at home.
As we we exited the car, Andrew saw me with the package of bath mat dots still in my hand and started cracking up. "Andrew, you did pay for these, didn't you?" And since he was still laughing I realized then that he hadn't paid for them or didn't realize I was still carrying them. Or maybe he just likes to torture me.
So yesterday I sheepishly went back to the store and paid for said item while leaving (this time) empty-handed. Might I point out that as I walked out of the store the first time this item was not tucked under my arm or concealed in ANY WAY WHATSOEVER--I was holding them like an offering in my left hand, plain as day for anyone and everyone to see. I also had to walk by 3 cashier counters in order to get to the exit of the store.
I guess if the economic downturn weasels it way into nursing jobs it looks like I may have a promising (albeit illegal) back-up career!