June 28: the supermarket contract

I have no qualms (when did you last have a qualm?) in stealing cherries or grapes or salted almonds from displays in supermarkets. I say stealing; I mean sampling. I feel we have the right to do this with a small piece of fruit. Probbaly not an apple or pear. I also am not averse to flipping up the transparent plastic sheet on a case of pick ‘n’ mix and sampling the odd jelly bean or even a fudge cube. This, for me, is part of the supermarket contract. But there are friends of mine who quickly scurry off when I am doing this, as though they are being associated with theft, shoplifting. I temember my dad used to do this supermarket or market stall sampling and we kids would cringe or blush or scurry. In a way I disapproved but in a way I was proud that he wasn’t afraid of the huge authority of the supermarket or the lesser authority of the market stall holder. When I do my sampling now I am half fulfilling my side of the supermarket contract, half acting in hommage to what my dad used to do.


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