Date:         Tue, 28 Mar 1995 22:27:01 EDT
From: gilbertsmith <>
Subject:      Crime at the Harris Teeter I
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <>


So I ask my daughter Karla what we need from the <store> and she says
this toothpaste (Colgate Platinum), toilet paper, milk, orange juice,
sugar.  So I get my stuff together, checkbook, check cashing card,
and go.

The Colgate Platinum, when I finally find it, is $5.99 for a little
tube; the Colgate Mint is $1.99 for a big tube: CP is $1.59 per
ounce, CM is $.34 per ounce.  Ah Hah, that's why
my mate spends seven times as much as I do at the grocery store.  I
buy the Mint.  Collect toilet paper, milk, orange juice (the $1.19,
not the 2 for $3.00), sugar and also, on an impulse, some Jergens
soap (the cheap kind) and go to the check out.  Distracted
woman checks me out, puts the stuff in several plastic bags without
asking paper or plastic, and I gather them up and go to the car.

Home, I find, of course, that the toothpaste and the soap are
missing.  So, cursing softly I drive back to the store, park my car
in the front right over the words: LOADING ONLY, go in the store and
look over the counter where the distracted woman checked me out.  She
looks at me and says (not I'm sorry, not Oh you're back, simply) Oh,
they are over there in that basket.

Already irritated, I go to the basket and find a wide assortment of
goods just lying in the basket.  I get my toothpaste, my soap, and
notice a bag of sugar.  Did I get the sugar or not?  Can't remember,
so I take the sugar, too, just in case.  Have to return to the
counter to get a plastic bag, put the stuff in it and walk out the
door.  This is like stealing.  I could have loaded up on everything
in the cart.  Exhilirating feeling:  stealing from this damned store
that didnt give me all my groceries and didnt even apologize when I
came back.  Of course I wasnt really stealing, unless the sugar is
already at home.

I go outside and see a security patrolman standing by my car parked
on the words: LOADING ONLY>

Date:         Tue, 28 Mar 1995 22:37:32 EDT
From: gilbertsmith <>
Subject:      Crime at the Harris Teeter II
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <>


OFFICER: "Is this your vehicle?" (*Not* "car".  "Vehicle".
That makes me mad, ever madder than I am already).
ME:     Yes.
OFFICER:  They dont like for you to park here.  This is for loading
ME:  That's what I'm doing, loading the groceries I already bought.
OFFICER:  This is only for loading the groceries from the cart in
front of the store.  Those are the rules.
ME:  I know what the rules are (opening the door of the car, really
mad by now).
OFFICER:  You're not supposed to park here except for loading.
ME:  Look, I'm already mad at this damned store because they didnt
give me all my groceries and I had to come back and get them
(slamming the door, not looking at him).
OFFICER:  Then you can tell *them* about it.  You're not supposed to
park here.
ME:  ....  (driving off....)

Drive home, find that there is no sugar, so I was not, in fact,
stealing from the store.  Can't stop thinking of all the things I
could have said to the officer, who cared about his job much more
than he should have:

"Are you a member of the Raleigh Police Department?  No?  Then, you
have no right to harrass me.  (OR, quoting my 5 year old
cousin: You're not the boss of me.")

"Don't worry about the rules.  I'm leaving."

"I'll never shop in this town again."

"You're telling me not to park here, and I have just stolen a bag of
sugar from this store and no one stopped me."

"I have broken the rules.  Do I have to stand in the corner?"

"I don't like your uniform.  It does nothing for you."

Why has this made me so angry?  I was already angry because this week
so far has been very unpleasant.  Nobody loves me.  My daughter is
going to hate me when she finds the Colgate Mint.

Date:         Tue, 28 Mar 1995 23:03:42 EDT
From: gilbertsmith <>
Subject:      Crime at the Harris Teeter III
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <>


Or, on the other hand, I could have simply said:
ME:  I know.  Thank you.  Goodbye.

So why did I feel like I had to explain myself.  That I was right,
and this officer was being unreasonable by interrupting me when I
tried to explain.

Why did I respond to the uniform in that way?  Am I a pervert?
Or, I could have said:
ME:  I'll never park here again.  Thank you.  Goodbye.

Or, I could have taken everything in the basket.  Everybody else's
left-behind-groceries.  And I would be writing this from the hoose-
gow.   Wolf Pack Professor Cools Heels In Slammer For Shoplifting.
That would have played well in the N&O.