There are two types of people in this world. Those who eat in a grocery store and those who can resist the temptation. I'm in the former. But one horror story involving cops and a child removed from her parents' custody over a sandwich is making me rethink my position on eating while shopping.
Nicole Leszczynski is pregnant and was so hungry she decided to eat a sandwich while she perused the produce at a Safeway in Makiki, Hawaii. But by the time she got to the register, Leszczynski allegedly forgot all about her chicken salad and paid for everything BUT her sandwich and her husband's. Now here's where things get crazy.
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Security stopped the family, who had just paid $50 for their groceries, and reminded them about the $10 worth of sandwiches. The flustered mama says she offered to pay right then and there, but cops were called anyway. They were arrested, and the state yanked custody of their 3-year-old for a short period of time (she was returned after Mom and Dad both posted $50 bail).
So that makes for what: a trip to the police station, $100 for bail, countless court costs, a hysterical kid ... all for eating in a store and forgetting to pay? The store obviously overreacted. But it does sound like the family made a mistake here. Which has me thinking about my standard practices!
I don't know about yours, but my go-to grocery store seems to place its giant soda coolers RIGHT where they're most enticing to thirsty shoppers. It's like they're begging me to drink up while I drive my cart around. I don't remember ever not paying for the soda at the end of the line, but it sounds pretty feasible that you could forget. I've come thisclose to forgetting the dog food in that bottom section of the cart before ... and I assure you, I've never munched on my kibble.
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I even maintain rules for my eating. I won't, for example, munch a banana or an apple because I know most produce is priced by weight. Taking a bite out of that means you really ARE stealing.
I have friends who are hardcore anti-eating while shopping, and I've always scoffed at their insistence that it's like stealing. I pay for it at the end, don't I? How is that stealing?
This little story does give me pause about chugging while I shop, though. What if I did forget? I don't know that our small town grocery store would have me arrested, but I'd certainly feel lower than low for "stealing" ... wouldn't you?
Image via alaivani/Flickr
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