The Hellhole

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A while back, I posted about my thieving tendencies. I stole a cedar plank from some salmon and before that, a decade or so ago, I stole a sweatshirt from my college's bookstore (albeit accidentally). Well, evidently, those were not isolated incidents as I'd hoped, but a developing pattern as I turned further and further to a life of crime.

This is the funny story I mentioned yesterday, even though I don't know exactly how it turned out. While the other, law-abiding Bowmans were at church, Alan and I went out to breakfast at this great cafe with WONDERFUL food. Once we'd finished our meal and gone up front to pay, Alan saw this magazine in one of those black wire racks near the register.

"Here, take one of these," he said, handing me a glossy magazine. It was "Columbia County" magazine, not unlike the free one we get in the mail called "About Conyers", though a little slicker. Still, I thought nothing of it; many similar 'local interest' or 'upcoming events' magazines are free at grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations, etc. around here and, to the extent I thought about it at all, I thought this was something similar. There were plenty of ads in it, that one might think it was ad-based rather than subscription-based - not that I even gave any thought to it - my husband said 'here take this' and I did.

I made no attempt to hide or conceal it as we paid for our breakfast. If anyone had said, "Hey! You need to pay for that!", I would have. Back at our hotel, we took turns looking at the magazine. Eventually, I came upon a page that was three perforated subscription cards.

"What the hell?!?" I said to Alan. "Why would anyone PAY for a subscription to this magazine when you can just grab one for free at the Sunrise Grill?" As soon as I said it, this troubled me, and I turned the magazine around. Sure enough, right there on the cover, was the bar code and $3.95! I was supposed to pay for it! It wasn't free at all! I could easily blame Alan because it was he that picked it up and handed it to me, or the cashier because I had it in my hand as we handed over the breakfast check and money, but still! I have THIEVED AGAIN!!! Still unintentionally, however.

Later that night, I was telling this story to Alan's parents. His dad, after retiring from the Army, was a probation officer, and he had this to say: "That's pretty pathetic. You're very smart, smarter than the people I've had on probation, and that's the best you can come up with?!? Surely you can think of a better cover story than that!"

"Um..." I said. "Well, that's not mine; I'm just holding on to it for my husband, who gave it to me. I thought it was his."

"Bah!" said Mr. Bowman. "I've heard THAT one before, about four thousand times, but usually about drugs. Never before about a four-dollar magazine - I'll give you that."

So the next day, after we met for lunch and hung out at their house, I left the stolen magazine there, on top of some other magazines but hidden underneath Mrs. Bowman's purse. I got the girl at the front desk of our hotel to give me a post-it note, upon which I wrote,



and stuck on the cover. I delayed writing about this bit because I wanted to relate what she/they thought when they found it, but Alan told me just now she probably wouldn't call or e-mail or say anything, just mention the next time we saw them - whereas my mom would call the moment she found the Planted Evidence to say something along the lines of, 'You bonehead!', 'You evilness!', 'You hellyon!', 'Your father told you to do this, didn't he?!?', and so even though it would have been funny to document Mrs. Bowman's reaction, apparently she's already inured to expect that sort of thing, so the final funny bit is me leaving stolen planted evidence, and not her reaction thereto.

Still - *hangs head in shame* - I have SINNED AGAIN!!!!


  • Great story! You could title your memoir "Inadvertent Thief." Planting the evidence was a very clever finish.:-)

    By Blogger Nancy, at 9:44 PM  

  • Not to dampen your thievery any, but most of those magazines are meant to be free when displayed like that. Las Vegas Magazine always had a price on it, but they were free everywhere. Unless it was in a rack with other magazines for sale of course :-O ...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:25 PM  

  • Actually, Matt, that makes me feel a lot better. Unlike a lot of bad things I do and rejoice in, I genuinely felt bad about stealing the magazine. (And the sweatshirt, too, but the bookstore is probably over it by now.)

    By Blogger Helly, at 8:39 AM  

  • As with the children I birthed, I waited until Guilt consumed you and you confessed to your sinfulness and promised sweetly never to repeat such sin again. And this morning when we revisited the scene of your crime, the magazine rack was noticeably absent. Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm

    By Blogger Sandra, at 10:25 AM  

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