Maybe the answer to one of the questions of the title is the answer to the other.
But first, here’s what happened.
I went to Pier 1 Imports on Thursday afternoon to pick up a replacement for a leather chair we bought a few years ago when we were still transiting back and forth to St. Thomas and had placed “temporary” furniture in our house to facilitate our visits. To our surprise, we’d grown quite fond of the chair, but it had not fared well, beginning to peel.
Anyway…I pulled into the parking lot, backed my car up to the front of the store, opened the hatchback and walked through the front door.
That’s when I saw the hubbub inside.
A female clerk was briskly walking toward me headed to the front door, while behind her another female clerk was at the cash register yelling, “Hurry! He’s getting away! Hurry!”
I quickly moved out of the aisle so the clerk could dash past me.
She flung the front door open, but didn’t venture outside. Afraid, she stayed inside the store and scanned the parking lot, looking for someone or some car.
I felt it wise to continue toward the cash register away from the front door and any possible confrontation outside.
“Who steals forks anyway?” the female clerk asked.
My second thought was, “Yeah, who steals forks? And why?”
I came up to the register, “Someone just ran out the door with forks?” I asked both the clerk and customer.
“A whole armful,” the clerk said, “Came in, swooped up the fork display and ran out.”
“Crazy shit,” the customer said.
“Nobody out there?” the clerk yelled to the other clerk still at the front door.
“Long gone,” she hollered back and closed the door. She then went over to straighten the utensil display, spreading out spoons and knives to cover the empty spot where the forks had been.
Who steals forks? And Why? The questions hung in the air.
“Ever have forks stolen before?” I asked.
“Not that I remember.”
“Maybe he didn’t have time for a whole place setting,” the customer laughed.
“Who steals table settings?” I asked.
They both looked at me blankly.
“People will steal whatever they can get their hands on,” the clerk said, “but forks is a surprise.”
It bugged me. Still bugs me. Who and why? I auditioned possibilities:
The High Holidays were coming up, so maybe the guy was missing forks for a couple place settings?
Is there an after-market for forks? Pier 1 forks? These are hardly fine silver.
Did he have a family in the car eating in need of forks?
Are there folks with fork fetishes? What would they entail I wondered?
Was this a scavenger hunt item?
Or a fraternity hazing prank following the keg-stand? She kinda looks like an upside down fork.
No. I couldn’t figure it out.
Simple…stupid…theft. I guess that’s an end in itself.
I pictured the Pier 1 forks on somebody’s countertop next to a random assortment of stolen items: a frog perhaps, a tuft of weeds, a curl of tinfoil, maybe one marble, a clean sock, a small cardboard box, a broken pencil point…and a shiny cache of forks.
Or an entirely different collection of burgled trophies. The possibilities seemed endless.
Then I imagined what my own countertop would look like, filled with items I might steal…but I’ll save that for another post.
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