It was summer. Averil didn’t have a runny nose, but she was a bit sniffly. A dab with a tissue would be adequate to satisfy her desire to attend to the matter. She could have wiped her nose on her sleeve (while no one was watching of course) but she was wearing a sleeveless light summer dress.
The trouble was, she was in the supermarket and had already piled her trolley high with the week’s groceries. She would simply have to sniffle her way through the check-out.
Suddenly, on one of the shelves, Averil spied a box of tissues. She opened it, fully intending to place it in her trolley and pay for it on the way out.
A shop “warden” saw her open the box of tissues, and marched her off to the supermarket office where she was interrogated.
“But I was going to pay for it,” said Averil. Her summer dress didn’t have a pocket and she was still holding the used tissue in her hand. She used the bin in the office.
“We’ve heard that one before,” said the “warden”. “We’re trying to stamp out thieves this summer, and you’re the first on the list. I’ve a good mind to call the police.”
After one and a half hours, Averil was dismissed with a warning. She was told never to shop there again.
Averil drove home, grocery-less, and bawling her eyes out. With not a tissue in sight.