I don't know how or why Wowmart could be so crowded at 4pm on a weekday, but it was, complete with crying babies, shrieking carts and college students in pajamas.
As I unloaded the groceries into my trunk, I glimpsed toilet paper under the cart and knew instantly I had not paid for it.
A moment occurred. You know the moment: "Oh, God. Do I really have to go back in that place to pay for this toilet paper? Really? It's not that I don't want to be fair--it's not the money; it's the idea that I just made it out of there alive and nearly unscathed and thought I could go at least another week without having to ...."
So I put the t.p. under my arm and made my way back up the parking lot and through the doors.
I told the young man I had accidentally absconded with t.p., and his brow furrowed.
"Which door did you exit?" he asked defensively.
"This one," I said.
Then I realized that by righting this wrong, I was going to make him look bad, and he was trying to avoid that unpleasantry.
So he looked over my receipt and said, "There it is!"
I looked where his finger was pointing and saw Downy wrinkle releaser.
"Uh, that's not toilet paper."
"OK, well, take it up to Customer Service and tell them." He looked so dejected.
As I walked toward Customer Service, I was like, "See, Lord? Now I'm going to get that boy in trouble just because you want me to be honest over dumb old toilet paper."
And then I saw it. The line leading to the inner sanctum of Wowmart, the 7th level of h-e-double-toothpicks: 10 people deep, two associates working: Customer Service.
This is when I threw myself on the ground screaming and stomping my feet, rolling around flailing my arms and holding my breath--on the inside.
But then I had an idea.
I turned around, left Customer Service, and went through a shorter regular check out line. Then I simply went out the other door, so's the dejected kid wouldn't see me.
Genius! I let the kid off easy, I paid for the t.p. and beat the Customer Service line. Home Run! I think this was all legal and moral and everything, so I guess I'm pretty awesome.
And that's how the whole story unrolled.
Have you ever walked out with something unpaid for? What was it?