Saturday, November 12, 2005

You Know, Shoplifting Hurts All Consumers

We avoid the mall. It's hard to believe that my pre-teen self spent a lot of time there. Willingly, even. Now, though? I'd rather do almost anything else.

Today, we were in pursuit of a winter coat for Sean. All other non-mall options had been examined and found lacking; such was our level of desperation that we tried the mall. All I wanted was a plain, simple, bright yet nontacky, warm, waterproof coat. What kind of coats had I found in almost every store? Warm, yes, but tacky as all get-out. What is it with the near-universal festooning of kids' clothing with large cartoon characters or garish emblems? (If my sister Kathie reads this, she will no doubt be nodding her head vigorously in agreement!)

I did find a coat that met all my criteria, luckily in only the second department store we tried. Good enough. No hats, to match, though, so I pushed my luck and the double stroller* to another store on the other side of the mall. No luck there, either. We proceeded back to the department store outside of which we had parked.

As I set about putting the kids' coats on, I noticed a large blob of brightness in Allie's lap that hadn't been there before. The blob turned out to be two pairs of girls' pants, still with security tags, that Allie apparently purloined from the last store we visited. No alarm bells had sounded as we exited the store, no employee had seen the snatch and grab. So much for anti-shoplifting efforts!

Back we trudged to the other side of the mall, once more, to return the pants. Once again, no one noticed us as I replaced the pants on the table. I suppose a less honest person could easily have gotten away with the theft. Now I know I'll need to frisk my daughter before we leave a store!

*Grammar quiz! (I know, I am completely insufferable.) Do you know the name of this type of construction -- using a word in a sentence in which each mention of the word carries a different use/meaning?