The Hellhole

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In Which I Commit Plankery

We went out to dinner last night. Service was s-l-o-w, which didn't upset me because the restaurant was super busy but the result was that by the time my entree had arrived, I had filled up on salad, rolls and the appetizer we'd shared. I had ordered cedar-plank salmon but even though I'd ordered only the 6-ounce piece, I could finish only about a third of it. It was very tasty so I didn't want to waste it and the waiter (eventually) brought me a to-go box. However, even though I'd had no difficulty forking small bites of salmon off the plank, I couldn't budge the filet itself. I pried one way, then the other.

"Just put the whole plank in the box!" said Alan, the instigator and pressuring peer. I gave it another go, the salmon still didn't budge and so I did what he suggested. Last night, I turned to a life of crime. I have stolen one of the restaurant's cedar planks.

With a notable exception that I'll maybe post about later, prior to last evening the only thing I'd ever stolen was a cardigan-style sweatshirt with my college's logo on it, from the college bookstore. But I am not sure that counts as theft because I shoplifted it completely and totally by accident. What happened was, I saw the display of jackets and sweatshirts first, chose one and slung it over the crook of my arm, like people normally carry their jackets. Then I roamed around the bookstore seeking the textbooks I needed for my courses and queued up to pay. This took a long time and one of my books, I believe my calculus book, was very heavy. When I finally made it up to the counter, I heaved the double armload of books onto it, sighed with relief and started to rummage in my purse for my credit card. The clerk rang up the books and - I made no attempt to hide or conceal it - neither of us noticed that the sweatshirt/jacket on my arm was technically theirs; I'd become completely desensitized to it hanging in the crook of my arm. I paid for my books, went out to my car and slung my purchases inside.

It was at this point that I noticed that I was carrying an unpaid-for sweatshirt and had a huge "Oh shit!" moment. I wanted to go back and pay for it but I was afraid they wouldn't believe it was an honest mistake - like think I did it on a dare or something and felt guilty afterward. I was terrified that I'd be prosecuted for shoplifting. That's pretty much how my luck trends: didn't get into any trouble taking the damned thing but got into tons trying to give it back. In the end, I just left without making restitution. I felt badly about it, but decided that feeling badly was better than feeling arrested.

What about you, have you ever stolen anything, either intentionally or inadvertently? Feel free to post anonymously.

<--- the purloined plank


  • I have never stolen anything intentionally but stole a box of tacks inadvertently from an office supply store in Athens, GA. They were in my cart and I forgot to take them out. I went back and paid for them and, luck was on my side, I didn't get arrested. Nowadays, I might think twice as my life has had more examples of "No good deed goes unpunished" in the last several years.

    By Blogger basil, at 8:55 AM  

  • I've had the same scenario you had with a sweater. I noticed when I got home from a mini-shopping outing that the store clerk never charged me for 3 of my items. But since the store was far away, I never bothered going back to fix the mistake.

    By Anonymous Inna, at 12:50 PM  

  • One time a cashier put someone else's ginormous container of non-dairy creamer in my bag by mistake and it was actually more than a day before I noticed it because I left it in a bag of dry things that didn't need to go in the fridge immediately and I can be lazy about putting stuff away. Then I found it and didn't bother returning it. Sadly, I have no use for non-dairy creamer, so it wasn't like a minor windfall for me, but I donated it to the office.

    By Blogger Nancy, at 1:25 PM  

  • I stole something by accident but the bad part is my daughter was my accomplice. We were in Walmart and she wanted this plushie panda. I said she could have it so while I did the shopping she was sitting in the buggy playing with it and loving on it. I had lots of stuff to get and the lines were long and by the time we made it to the register, I spaced on the toy and never took it from her so the cashier could scan it. Several days later I noticed the tag was still on the panda and suddenly realized what had happened. I didn't take it back to the store. I want to post anonymous but we are friends. I'm emailing you who this is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:47 AM  

  • I stole some things intentionally when I was like 8. One of the store managers caught me. To this day the mere thought of shoplifting breaks me out in sweat and my lips go numb.

    -Sandy (feeling the shame)

    By Blogger Topcat, at 8:41 AM  

  • I think you are supposed to have the plank. They don't use it again. I buy planked salmon at Whole Foods and they give me the whole thing, plank and all, because they say you need the wood even when you reheat it so as to have the flavor. It's not like you're stealing a piece of fine china.

    By OpenID dkzody, at 10:00 AM  

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