Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Sobbing Shoplifter Day

The Sobbing Shoplifter Day!

The boys always cry. Grabbing hold of their arms just before they step out the front door, it's like you lift the lever on a water pump and send the tears flowing free.

"Can we move faster?" he'll ask.

"Almost there," tell him. "We'll be in the office soon enough. Then I'll call up your dad"

The girls never cry. Like the one you caught earlier. Her face was as sour and impenetrable when you marched her to the security office as it was when she first walked through the front door.

"My Dad's not home," he'll tell you.

"We'll wait," you'll say. "We'll wait all night."

In the office, you'll sit the sobbing boy next to the scowling girl and begin your paperwork. You already called the girl's mother and she didn't seem to care. Seemed like she might make it by to pick her up after a few more errands. But when you call the boy's dad (he'll be home), the voice on the other end will accuse you of being a liar. Shout him down and threaten to prosecute his son if he doesn't compose himself and come down to the store.

The girl will tell the boy his sniffling is getting annoying. The boy will say to the girl:

"Aren't you scared?"

The girl will laugh. Then they'll start asking each other the usual questions.

What'd you steal?
(him: a 50 Cent CD; her: a Benetton bag)

Do you shoplift a lot?
(her: constantly; him: "Me too" (a lie))

Did you start shoplifting because you're lonely and it makes you feel like your seclusion is purposeful, like you're some kind of covert agent on a secret mission? Does shoplifting make you feel like you did something worth talking about today? Does shoplifting make you feel better?
(him: "How'd you know?"; her: "You look like the type")

After you finish his paperwork, you'll stay at your desk pretending to fill out some additional forms. You won't want to interrupt them. Once their respective groundings are fulfilled (him: four weeks; her: three days (suspended)), they'll be seeing each other again. Your job as a department store security guard can be depressing, but you occasionally get to watch teenagers fall in love with each other.

Happy The Sobbing Shoplifter Day!