I stopped, (well I'm not completely heartless) and took a minute to help her pack up her bag as she thanked me profusely and repeatedly told me how silly she was, then I went on my merry way, happy that I had taken a minute or two to help someone who needed it.
Ten minutes later as I was in the queue paying for my bits, (and a coconut bird feeder) I glanced across at the other till to see the old lady just about to be served, she placed her bits and pieces on the conveyer belt......
HOLD UP, THESE WERE NOT THE THINGS I HELPED HER PACK IN HER BAG!!!!!!!!!
She put about 3 things on to pay, and wheeled through with her bag FIRMLY tucked into the basket at the front of the scooter.
And this bag was bulging, (well coconut bird feeders take up some room don't you know) and it was concealed at the top. I had been coerced into helping someone shop lift!!
I'm the sort of person that if I go through customs, I always go through the something to declare channels, JUST IN CASE. I cannot steal, I don't have it in me, and now I was stealing by proxy. I had put these items in her bag! What if they thought I was Oliver to her Fagin?
I managed to avoid making eye contact, just in case security thought we were sending coded messages to each other, I LOOKED guilty, she looked as if she was going to hit a Sainsburys next.
My mouth was dry and my hands were clammy, I couldn't remember whether I should look straight at the security guard on the way out and smile, or avoid his gaze completely. This shoplifting by proxy is a very difficult thing to work out.
Luckily she finished ahead of me, (three things don't take long to pack) and I watched to see if she would make it out the shop without being 'collared by the 'Feds, (I'm so down wiv da kids)
WHICH SHE DID!!!
Although it didn't stop me worrying that perhaps they thought I was Fagin, using poor little old ladies as my joeys to do my dirty work. (Wouldn't put it past the old lady to blame it all on me, she seemed the type)
I made it out alive,
But just like that, the old lady was gone.
Now I'm not getting into the moral complexities of shoplifting here, and whether perhaps there were factors that drove her to it, my issue is, she made me an ACCESSORY, (and not a good one) steal your shit, lady. I'm not going to grass. But don't get me to pack your bag while you act like a helpless old lady because next time, I'm not buying what you're selling.
It COULD have backfired quite spectacularly, (although Nom or Vom of the prison guards could've been a fresh slant)
So my question is this,
If no good deed goes unpunished, have you ever helped someone else out and been the one who it backfired on in a spectacular way?
Let me know,
I'm off to see if I look good in stripes.
Big Fashionista x x