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Stealing With a Clean Consciousness

Stealing With a Clean Consciousness


One day I went into a bookstore and approached a female clerk:

“Will you make sure to keep an eye on me while I’m here,” I said in a loud and clear voice: “I am a thief!”

The clerk looked deeply shocked and several people in the store turned and glared at me.

“A thief?” the woman exclaimed in dismay. “but stealing is illegal!”

“I know,” I said. “That’s exactly why I want you to keep an eye on me.”

Together the clerk and I walked around the store and looked at books.

“Oops!” said the clerk suddenly. “Didn’t you put a book in your bag?”

“Yes,” I said.

“But why did you do that?”

“I just tried to steal it,” I said, nodding appreciatively as I picked it up again and put it back. “Im happy that you are keeping an eye on me,” I said. “I wouldn’t want to get mixed up in something illegal — right?”

The clerk nodded.

“Are you sure I haven’t stolen anything?” I asked the clerk when I had finally found what I needed and was in the process of paying.

“I can guarantee that you haven’t stolen anything,” she said with a confident smile.

“Don't you think we should check?” I asked, looking in my bag and in my pockets. In one of my pockets, I found a fountain pen with a price tag on it and put it out on the counter.

“I guess we should be grateful that I didn’t trust you in this matter,” I said angrily.

The clerk nodded apologetically.

“I hope you will be a little more vigilant in the future,” I reprimanded her. “This time I will let you off with a warning, but next time I might not be so forgiving.”

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