Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stealing Coffee

Before we start, I want to make it perfectly clear that I did not steal anything, nor do I condone stealing anything. I carry too much Catholic guilt to feel comfortable with stolen goods, even cheap office supplies. If I drive home from work with a ballpoint pen in my pocket, I leave it next to my keys to be certain I remember to return it the next morning.

But my brain is always devising little scams, things I would never do in real life. It’s kind of a pointless hobby, like the guy who sits in his basement tying fishing flies during the winter, but never goes fishing in the summer.

Yesterday, my wife and I went to Costco, where she bought a 2-pound bag of coffee beans, despite the fact that we don’t own a coffee grinder.


“Just take it to the supermarket,” she told me. “Use their coffee grinder.”

I stopped at the drugstore next door to the supermarket and bought a few items, which the clerk put into a plastic bag, along with the receipt. I tucked the bag of coffee beans into the bag as well, and carried it into the supermarket.

Now I’ve never bought loose coffee beans at the supermarket, so I’ve never had occasion to use the grinder. The grinder is a component of a display that includes dispensers containing various types of premium-grade coffee beans. You fill a bag with the beans you want, pour them into the hopper, set the dial to the desired grind, put the empty bag under the chute and push the Start button. Then you simply pay for the bag of ground coffee by weight at checkout.

But since I wasn’t buying their coffee, I opened the bag of beans I had brought with me, poured them into the hopper, filled two empty bags with ground coffee, and walked out.

It occurred to me on the way out that someone might stop me and insist that I pay for the coffee. I figured I could just show them the empty coffee bean bag I had brought in, explain that my wife had bought whole beans instead of ground coffee by mistake, and that would be satisfactory.

That’s when the light went on. I realized that if I saved the empty coffee bean bag, the next time I needed coffee, I could walk in with the empty coffee bean bag concealed somewhere. Once at the display, I could make sure no one was watching, quickly fill the empty bag with premium beans from the display, and then just proceed as though I had walked in with the bag of beans. If I get stopped on the way out, the explanation would be the same.

Of course, this won’t work if the aisle is under surveillance. It also won’t work if you’re Catholic. And if you try this, don’t get too attached to that morning cup of Hawaiian Kona - I hear that the coffee in jail really sucks.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Coffee grinders make great Hannukah gifts!