Thursday morning, just Pat and myself. Kristi was struggling to arrive, Mandy had phoned in sick. If nothing else, Stacey would arrive at noon, Pat and I could manage. Besides, there was no one in the store except for a little old lady browsing in videos.
Pat and I killed time up front, waiting for the shipment truck. Gabbed about coworkers, concerts, lunch ... who remembers? Granny was leaving empty handed, we'd have the store to ourselves.
Only Granny had just triggered the security alarm. Pat and I stared at each other, stunned. The woman was nicely dressed, white blouse and black slacks, 70 if she was a day, and moved with surprisingly speed; she had turned and was halfway to the rear of the shop.
Pat hurried after her while I searched the video shelves for a gap. What could she have swiped? Maybe she'd just stepped on a security tag.. I craned my neck, scanning for the women. They had squared off back in ROCK, near the Local section. The senior sprinter was pointing at the racks and shaking her head vigorously. Pat's hands were on her hips and she delivered a skeptical look.
I walked back. This smelled like a catfight.
"I am not a thief!" Granny argued loudly.
"So how did this SLAYER video suddenly appear on these CDs?" Pat demanded.
Slayer? A fellow metal head! I gazed at Granny with new respect.
"I am not a thief!" she declared, power walking out the store.
Pat rode on her heels, badgering, "Well, you sure run like a thief."
"I am not a thief!" Granny had the vocabulary of a Mafia parrot.
At the door I held Pat's shoulders. Given any excuse she could have kicked her AARP ass. Pat was boiling. "I'm alright. I just hate --- Look! She's getting into a Cadillac!"
Sure enough. Wide, white Caddie with a massive chrome grill that could have used for Air Force radar.
We never phoned the police. She'd probably been a klepto for years. I found it oddly reassuring to know we're popular even with geriatric shoplifters.