Expectations: Aisle 5

Thanks for the Warning (by sleepjunky)

Going to our local grocery store is an experience in open mindedness.

On Tuesday, a young man hurtled through the front doors with a man in pursuit.  The front-runner was an athletic 19-year-old and could have outrun the Loss Prevention guy, if he hadn’t run right in front of a car.

He put his hands out, bouncing off the hood of a red Honda, then skimming along the pavement on his belly, leaving elbow-skin on the asphalt.

Of course, a group of gawkers gathered to watch and I unabashedly took my place among them.  Four police cars arrived in minutes.  I never did get a good look at what the young guy had five-fingered from the store.

But it was the lady next to me who was the most interesting among the hubbub. She bitterly railed about the police brutality in this small town.

“Huh?” I said, watching the officers gently bandage the shoplifter. I’d lived here years and never seen a thing.  I immediately felt sorry for myself.  I’m always missing out on the exciting events around here.

Oh….this was a hotbed of cop conspiracy she stated.  She felt:

  • Young folks shouldn’t be tricked. Officers in stores should be in uniform, not plain clothes, so young folks know they’re being watched
  • They shouldn’t be chased if they run. (because an accident like this could happen)
  • They shouldn’t be in handcuffs. (it’s embarrassing)

The older I get, the less stupidity I can tolerate. I didn’t even try to muzzle myself.  I pointed out the consequences of her statements. But the credo of her beliefs was: Every young person makes mistakes.

She saw the police waiting to ticket a motorist speeding through a school zone as sneaky.  And officers calling parents, if they found their kids out past curfew, was a form of harassment. She looked like David Letterman’s mother, but with anger and  distrust and a big scowl. We had a pretty exciting discussion.

That’s when I realized that some people have their minds made up, and no matter what happens, they interpret it according to mindset.  They color events and file them as further proof to what they already believe

I would dig around in the root cellar of my own attitudes, but I’m afraid of what I’d find.

Sigh…I guess that’s why I need to keep going to the grocery store.


A week later, I interviewed the store manager and found out the young man had been shoplifting condoms.  He put up quite a struggle and had run twice.  The account above (which I saw)  is the second escape.  And the woman who was railing about how mean the police were?

She came inside and began bitterly badmouthing the store’s manager.  She said nothing about the police.  I guess it’s everyone’s fault except the shoplifter?

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Choices, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Expectations: Aisle 5

  1. Barb says:

    Lisa, I agree. I once interviewed a Loss Prevention manager who discovered several empty Bible boxes. He wasn’t sure whether he should be angry about the theft, or happy that the Word was getting into folk’s hands.

    So yeah, I think we all are here, reading the prequel to some child’s story called: Why I came Into the World: My daddy didn’t run fast enough to get out of the store with condoms.


  2. Barb says:

    Yeah, Sharon. It makes me wonder what this woman’s own kids will turn out like.


  3. Lisa Nowak says:

    Ah, Barb, you crack me up, feeling sorry for yourself for missing out on all the exciting events. 🙂 Now that I know what he stole I have to wonder if nine months from now there’ll be another unwanted baby because he didn’t get away with it. And no, that’s not a defense of him, it’s just a weird little side trip my mind took. I wonder if he would have fought so hard if he’d been stealing a candy bar? It’s gotta be embarrassing, being caught stealing condoms. 🙂


  4. digipicsphotography says:

    America and Americans need to stop feeling sorry for thieves and murderers. They committed the crime and deserve the punishment they get. It just makes me angry there are so many out there that think we shouldn’t harm them in any way. Wonder how they would feel if they were the victim instead of the devil’s advocate?


  5. Barb says:

    Yeah, Rose, I wish I would have thought to ask the question…”Would you feel the same way if it were your purse?”
    See the update at the bottom of the blog to find out what he was stealing.


  6. Barb says:

    Hey Auburn Chick,
    It’s good to hear from you. It does make you wonder how her own kids will turn out if she has the attitude that we should let youth get away with anything, because they’re young. And see edit to check out what he was stealing.


  7. rose lefebvre says:

    Does she really think they woud not steal if they saw the officers in uniform??
    And if someone had snagged her purse and she yelled for help, I wonder what she would have thought if an officer had said, “Sorry, can’t chase them or someone might have an accident.”
    All I can say is…some people!!!!!!


  8. Ok…this is just plain crazy! I think we’ve just figured out what’s wrong with America!


  9. Roxie says:

    The eggs and bread and stuff you can provide from your own farm. It’s the lessons in life that keep you going to the grocery store, right?

    Wonder where she was coming from with all that bulloney. And would she be so open-minded if he had just stolen her purse?


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