Let me lay an anecdote of the lulz on you.
First, some background. I live in what passes for an inner-suburban area in the suburban hellhole of this city. Which is to say, inner-suburbia here is kind of like middle-suburbia in any actual other city in the world. We are on the edge of an area undergoing what might be kindly called aggressive urban renewal, where bungalows which were $250,000 a scant 5 years ago now sell for upwards of $800,000, at which point they are promptly bulldozed and replaced by 2 conjoined townhouses selling for $1mil apiece.
This yuppie housing is occupied for the most part by young couples who are just starting to pop out the progeny. I know this because the moms, dressed in lululemon, frequently jog the progeny around in those chariot things, with a dog dragging along the side. While the dads head off to the city to their corporate jobs, taking express bus the onerous 10 minute commute to downtown, because parking the Prius in the city centre is a nightmare. You know the type.
We have a shopping area a few blocks from our house, smack in the middle of Yuppie Wonderland, where there is a street that has half a dozen cafes (which would be impressive, perhaps, to someone who hadn’t gone to university within a stone’s throw of Lygon Street, a street which makes half a dozen cafes look like some kind of sad wannabe). There’s also a shopping area with what is meant to be retro charm, but is in fact, embarrassingly obvious faux retro charm, sporting a range of stores from the boutique kids’ clothing store to the boutique dog food store. And, of course, the supermarket with pretensions, which has a Starbucks in.
The picture here is painted so you get the idea: lots of SUVs, and shoppers with cash; this is not your cheap-ass, low-end shopping area with drunks, bogans and casual shoplifters. It is at the liquor store attached to the grocery store that our story takes place.
It is late-ish evening, perhaps an hour before the store closes, and there is one person in the store, at the cash register. Feckless Husband, lately renamed Sporty Spice by SJ, is purchasing some wine. (I know, the revelation that we drink wine shocks you. Where is my winepal button, you wonder.) He takes his choices to the cash register, lining up behind a couple of people, including an elderly couple who have a shopping cart full of their purchases.
The clerk moves Elderly Couple over to the second register, where there is more room, or something, and rings up their wines and liquor, totalling a couple hundred dollars. Elderly lady fumbles around in her purse for her card to pay, while Elderly Gent loads up the cart again to take their purchases out to the car.
The clerk and the patrons wait patiently while Elderly Lady dodders about, looking for her Air Miles, or whatever. The she says “Oh, I forgot something,” which surprises no one. She wanders to the back of the store, while the clerk uses his second register to ring up someone who is waiting.
Then to everyone’s surprise, Elderly Lady stops doddering and suddenly scoots out the door, jumps into the car, and they zoom off. The clerk stands there, dumbfounded, but what is he to do? If he chases the perps, the other customers in the store may well make their own criminal dash.
“Did that just happen?” he asks.