Larceny and Gratitude



Witnessed something magical tonight.

Was walking along in the local big box store last night, when a woman waddled by me, holding her enormous stomach. She appeared to be about twenty-months pregnant, with a deformed baby bump that narrowed and continued up between her breasts. Also, she was at least sixty-years-old.

I have heard about, but never witnessed a turkey theft in action.

Every single person she passed did a double take and stopped all communication. There was a winding line of of us, wide-eyed and silent, watching this woman, slowly but confidently make her way toward the exit. I saw store employees stop dead in their tracks and gawk as well. I moved closer, curious to see what would happen.

At the doors, two employees stared at her. One said, “Excuse me, Ma’am? Ma’am?” She  never looked their way, just doggedly trotted out the doors and into the fleeting first snowfall of the season. And the employees watched her go,  as helplessly bemused as the rest of us.

A woman with a gaggle of sticky-looking children, shuffled over to me and asked, “Did she make it out the door?” I nodded and she shook her head, announcing how unbelievable that was. Another woman joined us to tell the tale of the time she was in a different big box store when she saw a man shove handfuls of garage door openers into his pants. She alerted the store and they did…nothing. Just watched him go, too.

So, we commiserated. Joked about turkey theft, pantomimed practicing our waddles for our own free turkeys, and parted ways, wishing each other a nice holiday. At the exit, several employees were gathered, mumbling into walkie-talkies, and giggling.

Thanksgiving, despite the images of pilgrim hats and genocide it can invoke, was generally meant to be a time of communion and reflection,  as well as an exercise in grace and gratitude. Well, with that definition, what could be more Thanksgiving-y than watching that woman brazenly walk out of the store with an eighteen pound frozen animal carcass pressed against her stomach? Bunches of disparate, cranky people who would have ignored one another, came together to laugh and marvel at her audacity. As my hubs and I left the store, I wondered aloud what might have caused her to steal the bird in the first place, and I made a note in my phone to donate to a local organization that can help supply families in need with food, even when it’s not Thanksgiving time. Then, I sent some  clouds of pink woo up into the universe for her family to have a safe, happy Thanksgiving. Because they probably need some woo.



This year, I have many things to be thankful for, but one of them will be for a waddling, geriatric master turkey thief, who temporarily stripped me of my misanthropy,

Enjoy your ill-gotten gains, you ballsy bitch. I sorta think you earned them.

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