It’s Monday once again and time for Melanie’s Share Your World! Her questions this week are all about criminal behavior we may have engaged in. (No, not serious stuff – just petty crime!)
Have you ever ‘dined and dashed” (i.e. eaten the meal and then run out the restaurant door without paying)?
Yes, but only by accident! My husband and I were eating at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. The proprietors there knew us because we ate there so often. My husband had to leave to go somewhere – I don’t remember where – and left me to pay the bill. At this place, usually we’d just go up to the cashier and they’d find our bill and we’d pay – rarely in those days did they bring the bill to the table ahead of time. I was finished eating and just lingering over the dregs of a margarita and no one was paying attention to me at that point. I was distracted, and just got up and left. Maybe I went to the restroom first, I don’t remember. I went home and forgot all about it until the next morning, when I woke up and realized, I had never paid for our meal!
So I dashed over there and confessed my sin sheepishly as I handed over my credit card. The young woman we knew pretty well must have realized I’d left without paying, because she had no trouble finding our bill – probably it had been found at the end of the evening when they reconciled the money and the receipts. She wasn’t mad at all – in fact, she laughed! We were regular customers and she knew we weren’t the kind of people to leave without paying so there were no hard feelings.
Have you ever been in a car accident and either left the scene of the accident (providing it was a fender bender and not serious) or denied culpability for causing it when you did, (if it were minor or serious)?
Not exactly. I did leave the scene when I had to bump a couple of cars purposely to maneuver my way out of a tight spot.
I was substitute teaching in Chicago and was leaving the elementary school I had worked at that day, intending to drive to my tutoring job several miles farther into the city. That particular school had a fairly large parking lot, but even though I always arrived at least a half an hour early, there were usually very few parking spaces left – in fact, that day I got the last one. I did briefly wonder where latecomers were going to park, but that wasn’t my problem.
I got back to my car at the end of the day and saw that there was an SUV parked directly behind my car, blocking me in, because there were also cars parked on both sides of me. The SUV was illegally parked. I didn’t want to go back inside, so I called the office to tell them someone was blocking me in and could they please make an announcement for the person whose vehicle it was (I gave her the type of car, color, and license plate number) to come out and remove it? The office secretary said she would do so. I hung up and waited.
And waited. I kept looking at my watch – time passed and no one appeared. When there were only 15 minutes left before my tutoring session, I was really mad. The SUV was directly behind my car, but not behind the car to my left. So I started my car, turned the steering wheel, backed a little, then went forward a little, inching my way out of the tight spot. (It did cross my mind to slash the SUV’s tires or at least leave a note, but I didn’t.) In order to get out of the spot it was necessary for me to hit the cars on either side of me, which I did very gently, as well as the SUV, which I hit several times and made no effort to prevent damage – although it scratched my car too, I didn’t care by that point.
I felt proud of myself for figuring out how to maneuver my car out of that spot as I sped down the street toward my waiting tutoring students. I eventually gifted that car to my daughter and son-in-law, who still use it and it still runs beautifully. Every time I see the telltale scratches on the lower right hand side of the bumper, I still think about that day!
(Oldie which has been asked many times before) Have you ever found a wallet or purse or some money (over $20) in the street and just taken it, thinking ‘finders keepers, losers weepers? Or would you be ‘good’ and hand it in?
Fortunately, I have only found cash which most likely fell out of someone’s pocket. Impossible to trace – therefore, it was mine! The first time it happened, I was feeling poor after paying the exorbitant entrance fee to Six Flags Great America for me, my son and his friend. I was walking along thinking that I was surely going to spend every remaining cent I had for snacks and rides, when I spied some greenbacks on the ground! Three 5-dollar bills! That really made my day – and it was long enough ago that $15 could actually buy stuff at amusement parks and have a bit left over. More recently, I found a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk near my home. I looked around – no one was around to claim it.
But no, I’ve never found a wallet and if I did, yes, I would return it with its contents intact. I say this because I have ADHD and that means I tend to lose things. Once I left a credit card at a national park – and got it back! True, I did notice it missing and called the park, which located it and sent it back to me via UPS. My husband also lost his wallet once and it was returned, sans cash. He didn’t really care about the cash – it wasn’t much and more important were his driver’s license and other important documents. So I would do the same for someone else (except I wouldn’t keep the cash). With modern technology, it’s terrible to lose IDs and debit cards which are easily forged and in these pandemic times, not so easy to replace.
Recently my son and a friend were in downtown Chicago in the middle of the night – the streets were mostly deserted because of the Covid-19 lockdown, so it was very foolish of them to be hanging around down there. Anyhow, some gangbangers came along, beat them up, and took everything they had, including my son’s phone, debit card, and passport (he was using it as an ID having had his license suspended a few months before) and even now, more than a month later, my son is still trying to recoup his losses. And God knows what someone could do with a passport, valid for nine more years! Easily forged, I’m sure. His social security card was also in there, so there’s a danger someone will steal his identity. The debit card wasn’t too bad – the bank reversed the charges that had been made illegally, but only after he got a new phone because the old one was stolen.
What was the last thing you stole or shoplifted? If you never ever considered doing that, tell us your secret!
I never did this, really. I mean, doesn’t everyone pilfer a few cheap office supplies – pens, rubber bands, etc. – from their workplace? I also stole my mother’s cigarettes and hid them because I wanted her to quit smoking, but she always bought more and eventually found my hiding places.
I never considered shoplifting, but there’s no secret. I was brought up not to steal. My family wasn’t poor and I never lacked what I needed. I even felt guilty about taking boxes of paper clips or post-it notes from the supply room at work, although I did occasionally do that – and no one missed them because there were stacks of those little boxes in the supply room.
I’m grateful for new life in the world around me!