Shoplifting and theft has caused all of us a good bit of problem, from forcing merchants to raise prices, to pay for the security cameras, tags, and strips added to stores and attached to their products, all the way to scaring the bejeezus out of you at the door when the alarm goes off with bells and whistles and a monotone voice instructing you to stop dead in your tracks, everyone stops and stares as you are instructed to return to the nearest cashier and return your ill gotten gains or pay for them, sometimes you are even immediately met by armed security, but most times no one even pays attention until you try to bring back the item with the forgotten security tag still attached.
When I was a single man I decided to go out and buy myself some new Wranglers, as nearly every pair I owned had been worn to the point that they were perfectly comfortable, you know that when Wrangler Jeans get to that perfect point there are usually holes worn through the legs, pockets, crotch, you know what I am saying, they feel really good but you can’t wear them out on a date or anything.
I knew what size I wore but decided to try them on anyway, yep they fit just fine so I just grabbed two more pairs off the shelf and paid at the register, I was given my receipt and the bag with my three new pair of jeans, I got home and removed my purchase from the bag ready to throw them in the washer, that is when I noticed that the two pair I grabbed from the shelf still had the security tags attached, by now it was late and the store was closed, yes this was back when most stores still had a closing time so I had to wait until the next day to return them.
Walking into the front door the alarm went off, you would have thought I had just robbed the place, I made the mistake of not placing the jeans back into a bag and immediately had them removed from my hands at the door, I explained they had left the security tags in place and got a yeah right, I produced my receipt and had it gone over with a fine tooth comb, by the time it was all said and done, I was taken to the back room and placed on the “Group W Bench”, some of you know this is where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after committing your special crime.., but to make a long story short they soon removed the security tags and allowed me to leave.
A few months later actually near Christmas, I was walking back into this same store, a young man was walking out at the same time, he was walking hurriedly and I noticed how raggedy he was dressed, he had holes in his jeans and wore no coat, he was carrying a small girl who was still in diapers and she was wearing a brand new coat with a hood, he snuggled her close and began to run when the alarm went off, the security people pounced on me and followed me all the way through the store, I never said a word and it may have not been the right thing to do, but I wasn’t going to point the finger at a Dad trying to keep his baby warm, and if I could have found him she would have gotten some pants too.
How about the security strips that are inside a lot of products, you know they run them across the pad at the register and it deactivates so there will be no alarm at the door, how many times does this little system fail?
One of the funniest failures of this little system was with Cindy and her friend Debbie in New Mexico, this happened not once but twice and after the second failure I heard that Debbie refused to ever step foot inside Wally World with Cindy again, they made their purchase and all the items were scanned, the items with tags deactivated and the girls head for the door, and as you guessed the alarm goes off, security is scrambling towards Cindy and Debbie and Cindy goes into a fake crying bout yelling at Debbie “I told you not to do it!!” the little misunderstanding was cleared with a permanent marker circle on their receipt, Cindy got chewed out by Debbie in the parking lot, and I don’t think they ever found out what item actually set off the alarm, but the girls did have a receipt, it did make a good story for everyone to laugh at, and just about the time when Debbie got to where she would laugh at it..
Cindy and Debbie went for a Girls day out sort of thing, Chinese Food at their favorite restaurant which Russ and I hated, time to discuss Russ and I, without Russ and I listening, and a chance to go to Wally World. They shopped around, had a good time, made their purchases that did not require a buggy, and Cindy picked up some Cigs which she paid for and watched them be scanned to deactivate said security strip, Cindy made the joke “Now this isn’t going to set off the alarm is it” the cashier assured her that it wouldn’t and out the door they walked, just as the alarm went off Cindy handed the bag to Debbie, jumped back, pointed and yelled “I told you not to do it”