I was standing in the candy aisle when the ruckus started.
Yes, a ruckus. A big ‘ol, noisy, crazy, arm-shuffling, leg twitching ruckus in the corner of the local drug store. A man in his mid 40’s wearing flip-flops and with long straight hair (like the Professional (COUGH) Fisherman from The Bachelor) and wearing a un-tucked suit jacket with a phone in his hand was being gingerly moved towards the back of the store by a small Asian kid in a Pharmacy uniform.
“Just come with us,” the kid said.
“But why?” said the guy. “What’s going on?”
Before long, the candy was less than interesting to me but the ruckus (which had now developed into a full-blown raucous ruckus) was growing. No less than five drug store workers surrounded the man who grasped a huge box of NICORETTE gum (170 count) under his arm.
“I was just going out to my car to grab my wallet,” he said as he fanned a big wad of cash in front of the workers who had always wished they could fan a big wad of cash like that to someone in a flourescently lit drug store. “Here. Just tell me what I owe.”
But the power hungry drug store clerks were having nothing of this ruckus resolution. They were throwing the book at him.
“We’ve already called the police, sir,” said the ringleader clerk. “If you’ll just come back to the manager’s office we’ll go and wait there for them.”
But the power hungry drug store clerks weren’t quite fully aware of what they were dealing with. This wasn’t just any everyday mid-40’s tobacco addicted shoplifting surfer yuppie dweeb-head. He was the kind with legs. Legs that wanted to RUN.
The T.A.S.S.Y.Dweeb-head moved towards the door as he threw eighty bucks on the floor, saying something like “…here you go, I paid for it, now I’m leaving…” but the drug store’s enforcement task force was quick to block his way. Now, on all sides, children and families watched as this disheveled rich guy tried to emotionally-urge his way out of a desperate situation.
“Please,” he said. “I was going to pay for it. I was. Here’s the money. Just take it. Don’t be like this. I shop here all the time. I’m a family man. A regular guy. I’ll pay double. Just give me a break. C’mon, now. Please. Why are you doing this to meeeeeeeeeeee!?”
But when you’re rich AND you look rich AND you try to steal a seventy dollar box of stop-smoking gum, you’d better believe some Asian kid who works 40 hours a week for minimum wage is going to nail you to the wall (if he can). I mean, it’s just the American way now, isn’t it?
And as they carted away the man, dragging him into the dregs of the drugs, far behind the pharmacy and beyond the double-mirrored security glass, my mind turned to something a little more intriguing.
Cadbury Creme Eggs. On Clearance.
Boy, was I one lucky Yuppie motherfucker.