Megan Nicol Reed is a columnist at the NZ Herald.
In her latest column, she admits to stealing…and admits that her husband is a thief as well.
Because I am an anally retentive sort of a person, and because I fancy it makes the checkout operator’s job that little bit easier, I like to group my groceries on the conveyor belt. Bananas with the broccoli and beetroot. Toilet paper with the toothpaste and tampons. You get the idea. Anyway, last Sunday I had a new category. Gummy eyeballs with the spider webs and pumpkin. Stocking up, eh, commented the woman serving me. Halloween’s huge around this area, isn’t it, she said. And then, sotto voce, you know, I hear they come all the way from South Auckland for the trick or treating. Whole carloads of them, she sniffed. So? I said it quite boldly, and it was not what she was expecting. She had wanted my indignation, that we might quiver together in shared outrage. Instead we finished our transaction in an awkward silence. Afterwards, loading my purchases into my car, I thought about her oddly-misplaced snobbery, about her thinly-veiled racism, about what else I could have said. As I was lifting out my last bag, I saw, languishing in the back of the trolley, a round of brie. A round of brie I hadn’t paid for, that sub-consciously I knew I had deliberately left in the trolley. You see, I make a habit of checking my supermarket receipt, and more often than not find I have been overcharged, two boxes of teabags rung up when I only bought one, that kind of thing. And because sometimes I don’t have time to return to the store to have the error rectified, and because I know how dishonorably supermarkets can behave towards small suppliers, and because it irks me to pay more than I owe, occasionally I take matters into my own hands. Accidentally omitting to pay for some small thing of similar value the next time I do my shopping. Slipping my stolen cheese in with the yogurt, milk and butter, it occurred to me that, had the checkout operator witnessed my small act of thievery, she would quite probably, and perhaps rightly, judged me as harshly as I had her.
Oh, it’s ok to steal because sometimes other people make mistakes and it irks you? The difference between the checkout operator mistakenly scanning something twice and her actions is that she did it deliberately and the check out operator made a mistake. The supermarket doesn’t order checkout operators to double scan random items either. So her petulant little attempt at justifying her stealing shows how far out of whack her moral compass is.
It’s not just her, though.
That’s the funny thing about a moral compass, isn’t it? We all assume due north is set at the same point. But one person’s idea of sexual depravity is merely another’s love life. One man’s “perfect titties”, another’s “objectifying comment”. My husband would never cheat at a game of cards, in fact I have seen him get hot under the collar playing snakes and ladders with our 8-year-old daughter when she tries to count out an extra square or two, and yet I have also seen him happily pocket the extra $10 change the gas station attendant has mistakenly handed him.
And her friends:
We have a friend who I know to be unfailingly loyal and big-hearted, and who I also know to be a kind of self-styled outlaw. Banned from his local supermarket for lunching on saveloys as he wandered the aisles, we are always eager to hear his latest exploits. Recently he told us of a bottle of weed killer he’d, er, placed by a gap in the fence of the plant centre. In the dead of the night he returned on his bike and pilfered it. It’s immoral, said his wife, half-horrified, half-proud. What about the drunken runner you did from that restaurant, he pointed out. But, she said, that was fun.
What can we discern from this little set of mea culpa’s.
Well, we know she is a thieving and stealing ratbag with no conscience. So is her husband. Her friend is a deliberate thief.
If this bint breeds then we can be assured that she will be raising another generation of crooks.
Nice one NZ Herald, taking that crim-hugging editorial stance to it’s logical conclusion…employing criminals to write for you.
Megan Nicol Reed is a thief and works for oxygen thieves.
– NZ Herald