I went to HEB [a local food market chain] tonight.
I got a cart from the outside cart collection.
I passed a mountain of yams - six for a dollar. "Hmm," said I, "that seems
reasonable." So I bagged up six and pushed my cart inside.
After about ten feet, I determined the shopping cart was a less-than-optimum
shopping cart. I reversed course, shoved the cart out the door, and headed
for the cart corral to get another mount.
The door warden, a portly, black, female private security guard caught up
with me and asked, somewhat stridently, "Do you have a receipt for those
"No," I said.
SHE GRABBED MY ARM and muttered something about leaving the store with
I looked at her hand squeezing my biceps. I looked in her eye. I said "Take
your hand off me or you'll be picking up your teeth from the sidewalk with
She let go.
Another security guard joined the fracas. "What seems to be the problem?" he
inquired. "He's leavin' without no receipt!" the security agentette
insisted. "This cart's broken," I offered. "I'm trying to get another."
"Go ahead," the sensible guard offered.
"He ain't goin' nowhere with these vegetables!" insisted the guardette. Then
she CONFISCATED MY YAMS! That's exactly what she did. She grabbed my bag of
sweet potatoes. She clutched it to her bosom.
"Let's go have a chat with the manager," I suggested.
So the three of us trooped off to the office. The manager asked what
happened - the portly wannabe policewoman told her side. I said her version
was essentially correct, except she left out the part about grabbing me and
trying to throw me to the ground (little hyperbole here).
I summed up by saying: "I didn't go to law school, spend eight years as a
deputy sheriff, and retire after twenty-two years in the JAG Corps without
learning the definition of assault." (slight exaggeration) Then I offered an
observation that HEB evidently recruits security guards from the universe of
those who failed their TSA training.
The manager blanched. He began to twitch.
The episode ended with me having a functioning cart and a free bag of yams.