This is not the blog I was going to post.  The blog I was going to post was about how grateful I was that the librarians did not go on strike.  I had written a draft in pencil, and was going to post it after picking up a snack at the Loblaws across from the library.  (I like to write a draft in pencil, and then revise it as I type it online.)

“You never know how your day is going to go,” my dog Suzi used to say.  (Actually she barked it, but we knew what she meant.)

I was paying for my snack at the self-checkout, at Loblaws, when I heard a woman scream.  I turned to see a man in a grey hoodie running away from the area of the scream.  He held a handful of cash.  The only thought I had, “He hurt a woman, robbing her, and he  has to be caught.”  Actually it wasn’t a thought.  It was instinct.  I immediately went after him.  I was the only one to go after him.  Everyone else, including Loblaws’ employees, did the sensible thing a watched him run.

I managed to grab him twice, but both times he broke away.  It was like trying to stop a charging bull.

Just before the entrance/exit doorway, he knocked over a homeless man’s cart and ran out the door.  I banged my left shin on the cart.  A male Loblaws’ employee, standing nearby, motioned for me to stop chasing the thief.  I did.  The thief ran out the door and into the subway entrance.

I offered to help the homeless man pick up his cart.  He yelled at me, “No!  Keep away from me!  Look what you and your friend did to my cart?”  I said nothing.

Loblaws has a policy for their employees not to try to stop any thieves.  It’s a smart policy.  I was foolish to try to stop him, but I wasn’t thinking.  It was all instinct.

It turns out that no one was hurt during the theft.  The woman who screamed was the cashier.  She screamed when the thief reached over the counter to grab cash from an open cash-register.

Security guards showed up after it was all over.  Like the police, security guards are never around when something serious happens.

That’s when I started hearing the “coulda’s” from the security guards and several Loblaws’ employees.  “He coulda had a gun and shot you!”  “He coulda had a knife and stabbed you!” “He coulda, coulda coulda.  They were right, but I was acting on instinct and I was not afraid.

I paid for my snack, left my name and telephone number with the assistant manager, and walked back to the library.

Other “coulda’s” occurred to me as I walked:  I coulda knocked the guy over and stopped him.  Then he coulda got a lawyer and successfully sued me.  For what?   For denying his right to freedom of movement after he committed a crime.


About Gary Johnston

I am an imaginary number -- a symbol used to count and measure. As Senior Imaginary Number at Einstein Equations Incorporated, I facilitate the calculation of the impossible.

Posted on May 2, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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