A life of crime

It’s offical. I’ll never have a career as a criminal. 

I wasn’t even breaking a law today…I was simply bending a rule…and I almost blew it. 

I practiced flipping borrowed Sam’s card with my finger strategically placed over the picture. Practiced. Like a dork. Our brisk jog inside the store wasn’t conspicuous at all. A dislocated shoulder was narrowly avoided as I drug my little girl rapidly through the guarded entrance to the store. The boots that were 2 sizes too big helped cause once we hit that smooth concrete it was like pulling a wagon. 

“I am here to pick up an order for….” My mind went blank. Time stopped. Sweat beaded across my forehead. No sound escaped my lips. “We here for my frozen cup-takes!” Announced chunk-Ito. The baker grinned. Despite the 1/2″‘heel in the ginormous boots the pre-birthday girl couldn’t be seen over the 5 foot counter but she was heard. Saved my an enthusiastic birthday girl who normally never  speaks. 

I didn’t have to utter my faux name. The baker grabbed the box and handed them over. Crisis averted. 

We skid to the register. Sassy jumping up and down trying to view said cupcakes while I practiced my story for why I didn’t resemble the striking hottie on the card. Chemical accident seemed a little far fetched. The more likely version was that I has accidentally grabbed my friends card. Mentally I was working on my golly-gee-silly-me face. Ha-and they said that theater degree would never pay off. 

Jackpot. Self-service. I joined big-boot girl and did a little big-bootie dance all my own. I so smart!

Like a beast I scan my pirated member card and then cupcakes. Oh yeah! I then slide my gift card. Card reader error. Dang. I try again. The system beeps in displeasure. A notice appears on-screen “see sales associate”. I break into a cold sweat—that’s what I was trying to avoid!!! I rub the card on my shirt and start all over. 

“Beep!” The error flashed again. “It broken mama?!!” Asked the sudden chatty-Cathy. I assure her it’s not but she doesn’t believe me so she starts crying because she thinks we aren’t going to leave with her precious cupcakes. To be honest I had considered it but she made that option impossible. 

I shush her and attempt the card again. All too aware of the definition of  insanity I try and scan the card this time. I was rewarded with a double beep. “No! No! Slide-slide card not scan card,” said the oh-so-kind gentleman behind me. Really? Now someone wants to help me? I wave him off and swipe the card to show him I am not an imbecile. The swear trickling down my hairline probably didn’t do much to change his mind. 

See sales associate!  The darn machine has an attitude now. Mr. Helpful flutters by me,”I get help for you. The machine tell you you need help.” Frantically I poke and scan and poke and scan to try and complete my sale before the po-po arrive. No go. I look around to try and plan my escape but Mr Handy had parked his 18-wheeler sized cart catticorner across the lane. No way girl could hurdle that in her too big boots. We are trapped. 

He returns with a sales associate in tow. She presses a few buttons and starts the transaction over. Wordlessly she holds out her hand for my method of payment. I hand her the gift card. “You swipe this.” Had it not been for the felony I thought I was committing I wouldn’t have been able to refrain from a sarcastic,”duh,” or the “oh really?” When she got the same error message. Twice. 

“You come with me,” she orders. Taking my faux card and my broken gift card she trots all the way over to the far side is the store. I probably look like I am walking the green mile as I follow her. Baby girl wails away drawing much unwanted attention to the tense scene. 

“No wonder. It don’t work,” she announces after we finally get to where we are going. She taps and taps the register with her freshly manicured 6″ nails. 

“It’s fine. I’ve got cash,” and if you let me leave here I’ll slip you a washington I almost add. 

“Nah. I got it. Swiper dead but I can type the numbers. We just gotta wait on the manager…” 

I almost faint. Busted. I’ve been busted and this is all a hoax to trap me until the manager arrives. I can’t go down like this! “You’ve got other customers. I’ll just jump in line and pay another way,” I try and take back the memeber card but with my arms full of 30 cupcakes and 40 capri suns I am unable to grab it. 

“No problem. He will be here in a second,” she puts the incriminating card on the register-out of my reach. Awkward silence insues. Then even more awkward small talk. We discuss birthday. We discuss cupcakes. How she doesn’t notice my voice is an octave higher then a normal voice I’ll never know. We discuses princess costumes. By now I am staring to worry that this delay means we are waiting in GBI agents. We discuss the MK themed baby shower she was making customers outfits for.  And no, they don’t know the baby’s name-just that the initials are going to be MK so that the baby shower could be decorated in all Michael Kors stuff. Yeah…you can’t make this stuff up. 

We discuss the blue for Frozen vs the blue for Cinderella and debated the merits of the varying hues. Still no manager. The offending card still is propped up against the cash register for all the world to see. My nerves can’t take much more. 

We discuss her 4 month old. I lament buying cupcakes versus making them. We discuss birthday parties and bed times. She’s been up since 6am working in her custome Michael Kors shoes she’s making for Saturdays baby shower. I don’t want to know any of this but I am trapped. 

Finally even she runs out of small talk. With a promise to go find him she leaves. I try and juggle the drinks and the cupcakes to free up a hand so I can grab the card. It’s getaway time. 

40 boxes drinks and 30 cupcakes don’t juggle. I narrowly avoid a disaster but fail to get the card and I fight to keep the cupcakes upright. 

Finally she returns. Sans manager but she does have the managers keys. 1 minute later she’s scanned the card to prove I am a member (or so she thinks). 1 minute after that I am handing her $3.00. 30 seconds later she’s saying,”thanks for shopping at sams ms….”

This is where I a supposed to say crime doesn’t pay but I can’t. 30 decorated cupcakes, 40 drinks and 1happy-happy child for $2.89 cold hard cash? What a steal.


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