Face, Meet Sidewalk

Violet’s Crime

Posted on: January 10, 2012

Smith Street Food Mart
280 Smith St.

Attention: Adam Smith, Manager

January 10, 2012

Dear Mr. Smith:

I write to you with reference to a theft that occurred in your store yesterday, January 9, 2012.

I’m sure by now, the police will have completed their investigation, although I am surprised they have not come to interview me about the incident. Perhaps you will direct them to me before the case goes cold. Confession, as they say, is good for the soul, and my soul can use all the help it can get.

First, let me relay the incidents that led up to the crime.

As you may remember, the weather yesterday was unseasonably warm. When I entered your store at approximately 11:00 am yesterday, I noted that the floor was quite slippery from melting snow. Being ever vigilant to circumstances which may cause injury, I carefully skirted the danger, and proceeded with my wheeled cart (which I had brought from home) toward the produce section. Unfortunately, as I edged around the hazardous puddle, the strap from my handbag caught on an inconveniently located display of tinned tomatoes.

While I’m sure that at one point, the tomato pyramid was solid and sturdily built, injudicious selection of cans from the bottom of the pyramid by some of the less considerate patrons of your store resulted in a rather precarious situation. Alas, in my heavy coat I did not feel the purse catch, and before I knew it, the table tipped, and tins were rolling everywhere.

Before you get ahead of me, I am aware that this is not a crime, however I was somewhat discomfited, especially when your stock boy, Ned, I believe is his name (by the way, is he your son? He’s a very handsome lad! Or was, before the black eye) came hurrying over to ensure my safety. Please commend Ned on his quick action. Obviously, there was no way to deny it was I who had caused the tomato avalanche, so I tried my best to help him clean up the mess.

You should know that the lad was extremely kind, especially after I dropped the third tin, thankfully missing his foot this time, and it burst open on the floor. He simply encouraged me to continue my shopping. Such excellent customer service!

(If I might suggest a change to your store employees’ dress code, perhaps shoes with good traction should be encouraged. I’m a big believer in practical footwear.) Unfortunately, when Ned went off to get a mop to clean up the mess, those shiny black uniform shoes of his failed him, and he slipped on a squashed tomato.

Being much younger and spryer than I, he did manage to catch himself on the large bin of canteloupes before hitting the deck, so to speak. If you would indulge another little observation, I would never have noticed how similar the words canteloupe and catapult are, if it wasn’t for the formation of flying fruit that was launched when he grabbed the edge of that bin!

In any case, I simply marvelled at how fortunate it was that the boy was not hurt as canteloupes rained down around us. I’m sure he would have been fine, too, if it weren’t for the one errant melon that landed directly on his, well, melon. It was a nasty thump. Good thing it seems he can spare the brain cells. I am sure the shiner will fade in a few days.

By this point, you will understand how flustered I was. My shopping list had completely fled my mind, and I suddenly felt the overwhelming need to take my leave, lest I succumb to a fate too similar to Ned’s. I carefully picked my way around what, under other circumstances might be a delightful summer salad (tomatoes and cantaloupes go together as well as peanut butter and bologna, wouldn’t you agree?), and went home to rest and recover from the dramatic events. It was here that I discovered my crime.

In the bottom of my little shopping cart, I found a canteloupe. I have no idea how it managed to escape the fruit storm unscathed, but it was nestled safely in the bottom of my basket. You must understand how embarassing it was to discover this melon felony, inadvertent though I assure you it was!

All day I worried, and all night, I lay awake, wracked with guilt, waiting for the police to knock on my door. I even considered eating the evidence of my transgression. However, I am certain that illicit fruit would only be bitter and indigestible (oh, if only Eve had realized that in the Garden of Eden!) and the rind would linger in my compost bin easily long enough to provide the police with ample evidence. So I did not.

I assure you, Mr. Smith, in all my years, I have never stolen anything. The guilt is eating me alive!  I would like to rectify the situation by returning the contraband canteloupe. Please accept it as enclosed, perhaps slightly worse for wear, but at last back in its rightful place.

As we have had occasion to speak over the years, Mr. Smith, I am sure you are aware that I have been a loyal customer of your store since long before you were born. For this reason, I hope you will accept this as my most sincere apology, and will allow me to continue to shop at the Food Mart.

I await your word on whether I am welcome back at your store, in spite of my delinquency.

Sincerely and with heartfelt apologies,
Violet McLean



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