I am a rule follower.
One time, in 5th grade, I got kicked out of Spencer’s in the mall for shoplifting. It’s been a few years, so I feel safe in admitting that I DID NOT SHOPLIFT FROM SPENCER’S! I was wrongly accused.
In college, on my 22nd birthday, I got accused of smoking pot in the bathroom of the Burgundy Room (anyone remember that place in Springfield? Art Bentley? *dreamily reminiscing*). Again, since it’s been awhile, I could confess. BUT I WAS NOT SMOKING POT IN THE BATHROOM OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER.
Since I’m all about honesty today, I will admit to stealing a very large, green thumbtack from the grocery store bulletin board when I was maybe eight years old. That is the extent of my criminal past.
Every time I leave a store that has those anti-theft sensors at the front door, I get a case of nervous tummy. This is not because I’ve stolen anything, but because I go through spurts where I set off alarms. Those alarms are SO ANNOYING. I never know exactly what to do in this situation. There’s never a soul around, well except for the priest, rabbi, and Sunday school teacher who just by happenstance are standing at the exit staring at me when I’m seeminginly leaving the store with stolen merchandise.
Usually what I do is keep on walking, trying to be as nonchalant as possible, other than quickening my pace just a skosh. I try to do my best impression of a person who’s completely unable to hear the alarm saying “Please return to the nearest cashier, we have failed to remove the merchandise control tag from your purchase.” (Which on an aside, I like how their alarm likes to pretend that it’s all THEIR fault, not mine. Well played. But I’m not falling for it.)
The entire walk/sprint to my car I’m usually braced for the come-behind attack from store security guards.
“DOWN, LADY! ON THE GROUND! WE KNOW YOU STOLE MERCHANDISE!” I wait and wait for the inevitable, that inevitably doesn’t come.
So what should I do when I set off store alarms, track down a store clerk to proclaim my innocence?