It all happened so fast. I had just come from the gym and walked into the nearby drugstore, thirsty and looking for a transit pass. I grabbed one of those small, store brand bottles of water, cracked it open, drank deeply, and looked for an available cashier. Both registers had lines halfway down the aisles, so I went to the cosmetics counter, and she told me she didn't sell transit passes at her till, but I could try the Photo department if I didn't want to wait. I went to the Photo department and waited behind a lady who was mad because they didn't have the film she needed for her ancient camera. "You could try, like, a camera store" the guy said, helpfully, and the old lady just exploded, "A CAMERA store!" It was like he suggested she go a sex dungeon ("You really think I've got time in my busy day to go to a SEX DUNGEON!?"). Anyway, she finally left, I finally got to the counter, the Photo guy told me he didn't sell transit passes, but he hollered at the still busy cashiers, who both said sorry, but they were all out. I thanked him for saving me the time of waiting in line for ten minutes, and left the store. I left the store. It wasn't until I was out on the street, about to descend into the subway that I realized the bottle of water was still in my hand. I hadn't paid for it. I stopped dead in my tracks.
Dream: Pursue a life of petty crime.
Goal: Achievable. Though I didn't steal the small bottle of water intentionally, it was so easy! And though I was shocked at my behaviour, I immediately began to rationalize it. It was only sixty-nine cents, after all. I took it from a cooler full of dozens of bottles just like it. They'd never miss it. It was only fucking water. Big deal, right?
Plan: Build on that. Have you ever noticed how doing something incrementally is almost like not doing it all? Like you add a little bit more cream and sugar to your coffee at home every day so that your coffee to-go order suddenly becomes a double-double and you've gained an extra twenty pounds since graduation?
Plus, I have no job right now, and I wasn't fired, I was laid off. I did nothing to deserve my current state of economic limbo, so why shouldn't I even out the cosmic debits and credits by breaking some laws, defying a few rules? Rules like:
Limit one per customer. I love napkins and straws, and I'd like some more in my home. Gonna start bringing a hockey bag to Starbucks and just filling up. If you're going to charge me four dollars for lemonade over ice, I'm helping myself to some greentubes (that's crime lingo for Starbucks straws).
Tray tables in upright and locked position. Or what, Westjet? Next flight I take, I'll lock that tray for when the flight attendants do their snooty babysitting walk-through, but once they are strapped in and the plan is just about to land, I'm unlocking it. What could possibly happen? The flapping tray becomes loose, flights through the air, blinds the pilot (who should have kept the cockpit door closed), who crashes into the airport Harvey's? Highly doubt it.
No loitering. Guess what, mattress store? If you're gonna have those sleep number beds, or the beds you can move up and down, or individual coil bed where you can drop a bowling ball on your sleeping partner and they'll just sleep more deeply? I want to try all of that, and I'm just gonna loiter. When I was a teen (the time in your life when you're most susceptible to the temptations of loitering), I never did it. I always bought something for the pleasure of hanging out at a stuffy bookstore or gross Dairy Queen. So look out, merchants! I'm pulling up a chair (or bed).
Shorts. I know there's no specific law against wearing shorts, but my god, shouldn't there be? There's a very small percentage of the population that can wear shorts without looking gross, but if you're even on the fence as to whether or not that's you, it's not you. 98% of humans cannot/should not wear shorts, but I'm sick of that rule. It's so hot out. I'm going to start wearing my trunks (the only shorts I own) when I have NO INTENTION of going swimming.
Ahh, I wouldn't do that to society. Or any of those other things, either. You're going to be embarrassed for me, but I actually went back to the store and beloved Photo guy, and paid for the now empty bottle of water. I don't think he understood, or appreciated what I did by coming back and paying seventy-six cents after tax, but I left the store (a second time), with my head held high and a clear conscience. Because despite its potential freedoms, there's one more common denominator in those people who unlock table trays, loiter, wear shorts: those people are assholes. And who wants to be an asshole? Not me. There should be a law.