Ever feel like being heroic? Ever see something that’s not right, and know that you have the power to do something about it? Today I did, felt like being a hero, I mean. Instead, I was just a snitch. But should I have done it any differently?
I was at the local Target store this morning, picking up something for The Wife. (She’s been under the weather lately, so I was heading home from work to take care of her.) You know, going to shops in the morning is awesome. Seriously, I can’t tell you how nice it feels to be at a Barnes and Noble’s or even a Target at 9 and 10 AM. Heck, even the people look better! When I was walking in, right behind me there was this absolutely beautiful lady, about my age, with the blondest hair I’d ever seen. Tall, fit, blue eyes, flawless skin… and a bit aloof. I dunno, maybe she was a trophy wife or something, which could explain her rather humongous bag (which matched VERY well with her beige pants, by the way). There are a lot of those around here. Trophy wives, I mean. Anyway, so the lady and I parted ways after a few minutes in the store, but I digress.
So I walked in, wandered about for a bit, found the heating pad I came in to buy and then checked out some of the new books. Did you know Eric Clapton just wrote a biography? Is it me or have there been a lot of Hollywood biographies as of late? Barbara Walters, William Shatner, Eric Clapton… Anyway, I was about to pick it up, but decided not to. Of course, with the store looking so great at that magical 10am hour, I can’t tell you how tempted I was just to stand there and start reading.
But I didn’t. I had a wife to take care of. So instead, I went to the counter to pay for the heating pad. I talked for a minute to the lady with the gold capped teeth in front of the counter (I her case I doubt it was a fashion statement), then headed out.
As I near the door, I saw her again: the tall blond. She walked assertively past a grouping of employees, a few customers, and myself, then out the door.
Beep! Beep! Beep! The shoplifting alarm went off. (Don’t you just hate when that happens?) She didn’t miss a step, and continued out the door. For a split second she slowed and short of glanced at her purse, but continued as if nothing happened.
Here’s the rub: it didn’t beep when she walked in. I turned around, looking at all the Target employees, and there they stood, like nothing had happened, chatting among themselves. Was I the only one that heard the beeping, saw the lights flashing?
As she walked away, I considered heading up to talk to her, slow her down a bit. Maybe someone was on the way. Maybe someone other than me noticed. And, of course, it could likely have been a malfunction, I mean, these things beep all the time by accident, right?
There I stood, wondering what I could do. Should I report her? Should I stop her? My mind raced as she walked away, as the employees stood there, having their mid morning chat, not paying attention to anything around them. Well, if they’re not doing anything about it, why should I? I walked out of the store, then headed to my car.
But I was still bothered. I couldn’t understand why nothing had happened, why no one did or said anything. Was I just being paranoid? Maybe. Probably. Still, I had to do something about it. I went back into the store, and talked to the manager. Unfortunately, before I finally decided I needed to do something, the lady left. I didn’t see any cars pull away, but she was nowhere to be seen, so I couldn’t provide them with a license plate number. Nothing.
I tried to offer descriptions and any other assistance I could, but the manager said no, and that they’d take it from there. Maybe they have a more extensive camera network than I’ve noticed (and I tend to look out for these things). Maybe. Hopefully. Because I hate it when scum gets away.
So I’m still left wondering, what should I have done? I know that conservatively I did the right thing, but should I have followed her? I wasn’t about to try and stop her physically (I didn’t have any direct evidence of a crime), although I very likely could have: I have at least 100 lbs on her, and my fighting skills, while rusty, are by no means non-existent (thank you judo, jiu jitsu, tae kwon do, and t’ai ch’i classes). Mind, you, I wasn’t going to attack her, but if I confronted her and she tried to strike back… But I wasn’t about to play vigilante. I needed to get home to my sick wife.
What would you have done?