This just happened…
There was something hinky about the woman in my shop. She had brought in one of the market’s communal shopping carts, and had filled the child seat with expensive cosmetics. She kept looking sideways at me and the front door leading out into the market.
Today was crowded, just like every Super Bowl weekend. The aisles were packed with shoppers, and my next-door neighbors at the barbecue stand had at least 50 people waiting to place their orders.
So I sat calmly behind the register, waiting to see what ruse my customer would use to get out the door without paying. Suddenly, there was the sound of a baby shrieking. The woman pushed her cart out the door, saying “That’s my baby crying! I’ll be right back!” as she dashed through the crowd.
I knew that my delivery driver was in the front of the marketplace, retrieving shopping carts. So I yelled “Hey Rube!” while running toward the customer, who was already escaping out the main doorway.
Seconds later, the N.A.T. was in the aggressively masculine custody of Mister Kenny K., who rides a Harley when he’s not behind the wheel of a minivan hauling Amish workers or delivering Doorbell Cosmetics.
I pulled myself up to my full 5’3” and demanded, “Do you want to come back to my store and pay, or will you be waiting with Kenny for the police to arrive?”
She chose the third option: abandoning her cart and fleeing the building. We didn’t bother chasing her, because she’d left us with a (presumably paid-for) rotisserie chicken and a box of donuts.
As she left, I shouted, “I knew it wasn’t your kid crying! You’re old enough to have grandchildren, and ugly enough to be a 60-year-old virgin!”
It was actually the crying child which gave it all away. My next-door neighbor on the other side of my shop is an organic produce stand, owned by a young married couple whose newborn boy Todd comes with work to them every day. He has a distinctive cry, so I knew immediately that the thief’s story was untrue. And thus, I wasted no time in capturing her.
Her cart contained skincare products worth about $200.
We shared the donuts with Todd’s parents.