By Jim Hagarty
I did my good deed for the week on Sunday, a perfect day to do a good deed, I have found over a lifetime of distributing good deeds to the left and the right of me like a Good Samaritan on steroids.
On this day, I bought someone I don’t even know five screwnails.
It cost me 50 cents but it was worth it to see this anonymous do-it-yourselfer happy although I haven’t actually ever see him or her and I don’t know if they are happy but I hope they are. I hope, in fact, they are downright gleeful.
In the middle of a construction project, I was sent to the hardware store to pick up a box of 100 woodscrews. I raced like a maniac to the store and found the last two boxes of the screws I needed. However, the seal was broken on both boxes. Someone had been helping themselves.
So I asked the manager about it and he agreed that yes, someone had pilfered a few screws. He didn’t offer to knock a few pennies of the price of the box and I didn’t care enough to ask for a discount, so I bought the screws and raced home. Once there, just for fun, I dumped out all the screws and counted them. There were 95, not 100, in the box.
Now, I am glad the screw thief got away with the bargain he or she was looking for, but I am also very interested in the thought process that went on in the brain of this person who gave themselves a five-finger discount on the product. I am thinking they are an adult, as kids don’t usually need woodscrews. They must be in the middle of some kind of project themselves and so, by definition, they must have the money to pay for the whole project.
The hardware store is located just outside of my city so the person probably went there in a car that he or she presumably owns and maintains. If they have the money for all this they must have some sort of income and therefore, probably have a job.
So, here is a responsible, job-holding, car-driving person, probably a family man or woman who is operating under a belief system that suggests that it is OK to have someone else pay for 100 screwnails and only take home 95.
I guess that person’s conscience is clear and that their workshop is not cluttered up by 95 screwnails they have no need of.
That brings me to the notion that perhaps it should be possible to go to the hardware store and buy five of these screws when that is all you need.
Does that justify stealing? I don’t know. And given that most of the shoplifting done in these big stores is done by the employees, who knows who took my screws? Maybe it was an inside job.
All I know is, I got screwed.
And not in a fun way.