So, today I was at the grocery store with my four year-old daughter, and my mom. Three generations tooling around the aisles, grabbing at things and yelling at each other to PUT them back!

At one point I was price shopping for cheap selecting the perfect vintage Pinot Noir for our dinner, when this young dude glides past me and scoops up a bottle of Jäger without even slowing down. I smiled, thinking of some (mommy?) blogger I'd read earlier today who'd talked about doing a few too many Jager shots with her husband (Dang? Who was it? Help me out!!!).

It's Thursday night in a college town, nothing odd about someone grabbing some Jäger...what was impressive is that he just stroooooooooooode on while fluidly whipping a bottle from the shelf without disturbing its neighbors.

A minute or so later I met back up with my mom and daughter, and suddenly there was that Smooth Dude walking past us. Chattin' on his cell phone and walking towards the exit. Still sailing smoothly, but his gait was also somewhat less...effortless.

And the
Jäger bottle? Nowhere to be seen.

I stopped and watched him and Smooth Dude just continued sailing right out the door. Buh-bye, SD. Buh-bye, bottle of

I said to my mom, before SD was out the door, "He is stealing a bottle of
Jäger." I thought about running after him. I thought about contacting a Sales Associate. As I stood there I thought a lot of things in a millisecond.

But, you know what? I didn't know for sure he stole anything. For all I know, he's a David Blaine in training and one of his skills is Being Smooth and Non-Bottle Moving Whilst Drifting Through Grocery Store Aisles.

Or maybe he realized he didn't have the cash and randomly dropped the
Jäger off somewhere.

Perhaps the person he was talking to on the phone had just told him, "Smooth Dude, my roommate just totally bought some
Jäger. No worries. Time to party on and you don't need to buy any Jäger (because in my head Smooth Dudes and friends all talk like characters from Wayne's World)(Party ON!) !"

It could be that elves scurried out from the dairy section and stole the bottle from him and threatened him with a fortnight of bad luck if he didn't vamoose immediately.

Who knows what really happened. It just seemed pretty certain to me that I'd just witnessed a theft.

I looked at my daughter (who had, by the way, been a very reluctant shopper this entire expedition).

I looked at my mom (who probably, by the way, thought I was being a very
reluctant shopper this entire expedition).

I thought about what it would entail to chase SD down, accuse him, call the cops, who knows what. Yowsa, but I just thought, "Forget it. It's not worth it if I'm wrong."

Honestly, part of me thought it wouldn't be worth it if I was right. I know that was lame and weak of me, because
morally and socially and economically and theoretically and realistically and fiscally and...deep breath...legally it's just wrong to steal. But when I thought of the flipping hoops I'd have to go through, and what if I were wrong (but I know I wasn't)? Forget it.

It didn't seem worth it.

Was I wrong?

What would you have done?


  1. Honestly, I drop off items around the store all the time.

    "too pricey"
    "too cellulite inducing"

    But the smooth-i-tude of mr. smooth dude is troubling.

    What would I do? I would be so stressed with my brood that I never would've even noticed!

  2. Married to Sheriff Andy here....I would have said something.

    It's an ugly habit. I must stop.

  3. I would have done exactly what you did minus the wondering what should I do. That's how us lazy folks roll.

  4. There are too many "What if's" in the situation, so I wouldn't have said anything either. If I had seen him actually steal it? I totally would have done something.

  5. Agreed, too many variables. No proof, so I wouldn't have said anything.

  6. Wow, that's crazy! My first thought would have been to try and stop him with a word, something "smooth" like, Hey! But then I wouldn't know where to go from there... maybe it would have thrown him off enough to make him stop, or not.
    Hard to say. And then how do you go accusing someone of something you think they did, but you don't know...

  7. same as you. That is if, like Fussy, I had even noticed between the "put that down-s," the "get back here-s"... ya know, stuff like that.

    xo ~K

  8. That's a toughie. You have know way of knowing any of the other things that might have happened: whether there was a Jaeger drop off, a hand off or if he really was stealing... Plus you don't know how he would have reacted to being 'busted'. If there had been someone close by, maybe you could have said something discreetly, but it's a dangerous situation.

  9. Usually I am the first to point out things that I see wrong. But that would have been a tough call. Unless I saw him directly put it in his shirt, (or wherever one puts these things)I probably would have not said anything.

  10. By the way, sorry it's taken me so long to get over here and visit! I really like the way you write!

  11. Tough call since you didn't actually see him steal it. I would have done what you did. You never know who is packing a gun. We recently had a good Samaritan lose his life because he chased a kid out into the street after he saw him steal a tip jar at Starbucks. The kid knocked him down to the ground with his car door. The man hit his head on the curb and was dead several hours later. He lost his life over $5. So sad.

  12. Yeah, unless I saw the bottle sticking out of his pants or something, I would have done the same thing.

  13. I'd be right there with you, thinking about all the other options... so there's no way I would have gone running after him. Can you imagine?!
    I laughed reading this post, because just yesterday I referenced Wayne's World. Way go to. (http://living-juicy.blogspot.com/2008/04/mixed-messages.html)

  14. I'd have done the same thing. There's been many times that I've gone to the store and grabbed some stuff and then realized I'd left my bank card at home.

  15. It's not my job to catch shoplifters-PLUS he could be innocent-or worse, a PSYCHO! Better to let it go.

  16. I'm just amazed you were that observant--I'd be lucky to notice a hold up much less a 'pick up'

  17. I'd have given him the benefit of the doubt, without hesitation.

  18. Unless I actually saw him steal I would say nothing. And by 'saw' I mean, unless I saw him conceal the item in question.

    Plus, by the time you found someone to tell I think he'd be long gone.

    And even then, what would you say? I saw him pick up a bottle of Jager and now here is walking out with nothing. He's Stealing, can't you see that. Hiding a bottle of Jager would be difficult, no?

  19. Yikes. I don't know if I can comment on stealing right now. Maybe you could all come over and read my latest post and help me with your advice.

  20. Yikes. I don't know if I can comment on stealing right now. Maybe you could all come over and read my latest post and help me with your advice.

  21. I would have just stared in awe that his shopping/shop lifting trip is done with such ease and grace...


Brilliant observations: