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Wednesday, 10 March 2021


For writing commissions -

              A short series from my days as a supermarket manager. 

All true but stretched for entertainment value.

Customers come in all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds, as do shoplifters.  A shop is a thieves’ paradise and professional bandits know all the tricks of the trade to confuse and distract, as they attempt to steal anything that is not nailed down.  They are a menace but the more inept thieves, the ones that have more than enough empty space between their ears, the ones that aimed low in life and missed, provide some light relief.  One day, we followed a man who was wearing a long overcoat.  It was one of the hottest days of the year and he looked as out of place as a kipper in a tap-dancing class.  By the fixed smile on his face and his glazed eyes, it was obvious that he had lunched recently with Jim Beam or Johnnie Walker.  He was high as a kite.  Slowly but surely, he walked around the shop putting various things into the pockets of his coat.  After about half an hour, as he was about to leave, we apprehended him and took him to the security office.

“Please empty your pockets,” I said.  “What pockets?” he slurred.

“The ones in your coat.”  “Oh, those pockets,” he chuckled. 

In a few minutes, the following items were displayed on the desk: a bottle of brandy, a packet of custard powder, two small tins of cat food, a bar of chocolate, a bag of sugar, a bottle of ketchup and a bunch of scallions.  The man was arrested and whiskeyed off to the police station, leaving us wondering if all the food and drink he had tried to nick had been intended for a romantic meal for two – or just a quiet night in with the cat.  Even with the scallions, he was more chump than champ. 


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