Monday, June 26, 2006

Trolley Theft

What a barrage of thoughts I've had in the past week, all clamouring to be put to the screen. Well, now that I have some spare minutes, here they all come!

I had a discussion (this means we disagreed) with the Frugal Gentleman a couple of weeks ago when I related to him the tale of what befell my parents at their local Bunnings Warehouse. (For those readers not from Western Australia, Bunnings is a hardware chain that is open seven days a week. It has serviced generations of Australian do-it-yourselfers with petunia seedlings, tile grout and the odd sausage sizzle on the weekends.) To me, this tale of proud possession followed by lowly theft is only a step below Le Comte de Monte Cristo with regard to the dastardliness of the petty thief who deprived my father of his plumbing accoutrement.

On the day in question, Mum and Dad were browsing through Bunnings and gathering items that they needed around the house. They had already picked up two red buckets and placed these in their trolley. To this charming collection, Dad had proudly added the very last drainpipe cleaning thing from a certain section in plumbing.

Suddenly a shifty looking person carrying some blue buckets (in a sinister way) approached them and asked where they acquired the aforementioned drainpipe cleaning thing. Mum pointed in the direction of the plumbing aisle, helpfully adding "But I think it was the last one."

The man loped off, and forgive my presumptuous imagination, but at this point I am imagining him as a hairy not-quite-werewolf-but-maybe-his-grandmother-had-had-some-
strange-tastes-if-you-know-what-I-mean Quasimodo-like creature. Sinister but pathetic at the same time. Oh, where was I? Right, Wolfman-Quasimodo loped off and my parents thought no more of it as they went through Bunnings looking at more potential purchases. Something caught their eye in the Garden Centre, and they left the trolley parked inside the main warehouse while they went to explore this new Elysium.

When they returned to the trolley a few minutes later, the drainpipe cleaning thing was gone! And to add insult to injury (if I may coin a cliché) their red buckets had been taken and replaced with two blue buckets! There was only the stench of unwashed cur and my father's palpable disappointment hanging in the air.

Oh, OK, that last bit I just added on.

Anyway, I related this tale of perfidy to the FG and instead of making noises of sympathy, he said "Well, they shouldn't have left the trolley unattended in the first place!"

I was speechless. I mean, really, it's a gentleman's (and lady's) agreement that items in trolleys, even if the trolleys are unattended, still belong to the people that collected them. If you come back four hours later and the trolley is still there, its contents could probably then be counted fair game. Call me naïve, but I've left trolleys unattended while I've gone to collect items in another aisle and their contents have been left untouched when I've returned. And I've never felt the need to pinch something from someone else's trolley.

Anyway, I'm sure opinions on the subject will be forever divided. But I hope bucket-swapper-drainpipe-cleaning-thing-snitch gets a nasty case of piles.


emskiBEE said...

This happened to my good self when I was in a supermarket in the Netherlands. The place was one where all the goods were packaged -lots of cheeses & meats and tinned goods. Fresh bread as well. But no trolleys - so you'd just pick up a cardboard box and fill it with delightful European goodies. The thing was there were no shelves either - just lots of cardboard boxes stacked upon each other with the top one cut open so you could pick out the goods. So down goes my cardboard box while I delve into the fridge section to go for smoked salmon (what else does one have with bread and cheese when travelling!) and then off with all carefully selected goods to the check-out I went. Then we get outside, to the car and 250K away when we stop to eat.....where's the salmon? the bread? the gourmet cheeses? Half our shop was poached by some lazy-no-good-for-nothing-I'm-going-to-have-other-people's-shopping-selections-for-tea. Bast#$d.

an9ie said...

Oops, my comments moderation swallowed this and I've only just retrieved it. Thank you emskibee, these people must be stopped! Almost as bad as shoplifting I reckon! ;p If anyone reading this has been guilty of this crime, shame on you!