Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Bra That Never Was

Cast of Characters

Child Lori: Terrified, slightly geeky young girl
Mom: Attractive, early thirties, mouth like a sailor
Asshole #1: Store detective, heavyset, sweaty
Asshole #2: Store detective, thin, Barney Fife-ish
Adult Lori: Unbelievably intelligent, movie star type, may be in early forties, looks early twenties, holds bottle of vodka
Cop: Handsome rookie, good natured, rocks a bemused expression
Flustered J.C. Penney Store Manager: Flustered J.C. Penney manager

(Center stage, green spotlight on Adult Lori)

Adult Lori:
(Speaking in subtle yet annoying Raaaaychester accent): When I was eleven, I was accused of stealing a bra. Brand and style unknown. Details are fuzzy due to trauma and a million years of time, but I clearly recall two store detectives leaping upon my mother and myself as we exited the store. Both were male, both had incredibly asymmetric features and bad breath. One took hold of my mother’s arm, the other took hold of mine, and they grilled us, right there on the strip mall sidewalk. It was sunny, I think. Or perhaps it was rainy.

(Adult Lori exits stage right)

(Full stage lights)

Asshole #1:
Ma’am, is this your daughter?

(Wary, Mom nods, puts protective hand on Child Lori’s shoulder)

Asshole #2:

Are you aware that your daughter took a bra from J.C. Penney?

(Smiles, laughs nervously) Lori?

Child Lori:
What? (Looks down at flat eleven-year-old chest) Why would I take a bra?

There’s some mistake…

Asshole #2:
No, no mistake. We’d noticed your daughter behaving in a suspicious manner near the fifty percent off bra bins, and…

Child Lori:
(Tearing up, lip trembles) Moooommmmyyyy!

(Shakes arm free from Asshole #1’s grip) Fuck off!

Asshole #1:
Ma’am, please control yourself or we'll be forced to involve the police.

Asshole #2:

We clearly witnessed your daughter fondling the bras then stealthily tucking one beneath her shirt.

Go to hell, Wilber.

Asshole #1:
Ma’am, I’m afraid this will be our last warning.

(Mom, ever the dilettante, flicks her cigarette at the foot of Asshole #1) Stupid Picasso-looking assholes!

Asshole #1:
Ma’am, you have received your last warning.

Child Lori:

Woooo! Wahhhhhh!

Asshole #2:
Young lady, tears won’t get you out of this mess.

Asshole #1:
(Grabs Mom’s arm again, forcefully) Manager would like to speak with you. Now!

(Passersby enter stage right, gawk, whisper amongst themselves, exit stage left)

(Mom and Asshole #1 exit stage left)

Asshole #2:

Your mother will be right back -- she’s going to speak with the manager for a bit.


Asshole #2:
(Conversational, phony-friendly tone) So, uh, do you have a boyfriend?

Child Lori:
(Confused, blushes, kicks foot) No. Well, sorta.

(Asshole #2 crosses arms, apparently uncomfortable)





(Asshole #1 enters stage right, exchanges glances with Asshole #2, Asshole #1 gives short nod)

Asshole #1:
(Bright, forced tone) Okay! Please come with us, now.

(Takes Child Lori’s elbow, attempts to steer Child Lori stage left)

Asshole #2:
This will only take a few moments…

Child Lori:

Wahhhhhhh! Oh, WAHHHHHHHHHH!

Asshole #1:

You’re making an unnecessary scene, Lori -- it is Lori, right?

Child Lori:

(Cop enters stage right)

Is this…?

Asshole #1:
Hello, officer. Yes, the mother is in the manager’s office at this moment.

(Scratches jaw, appears perplexed) I see. Hmmm.

Asshole #2:
She stole a bra.

Asshole #1:
And the mother was verbally abusive!

(Lights fade, green spotlight focuses on Adult Lori as she enters stage right)

(Center stage)

Adult Lori: Twenty minutes pass, and I, after being forced to submit to a pat-down by a kindly old woman named Gert, was proven innocent.

(Adult Lori exits stage right)

(Full stage lights)

Flustered J.C. Penney Store Manager:

We understand that we will never be able to fully rectify this terrible, terrible mistake, Mrs. Howe, but please accept this one hundred dollar gift certificate with our heartfelt apologies.


(Refuses certificate) Stick it up your giggy.

(Lights fade)

Child Lori:
Mom, what’s a giggy?


And the crowd goes wild.


At 11:18 AM, Blogger Myfanwy Collins said...

Ms. Lori, you are one in a million. Love this. Will you think me naive, if I, too, ask what a giggy is?

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

At just about the same age, I was also falsely accused of shoplifting in Sears. It was earrings though, not a bra. It was similarly awful and traumatic and unfortunately I was with a friend, not my mom.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

HAHA! To this day, I'm still not sure, Myfanwy. I think it could be a euphemism for "vagina," used only by irate Italian women, but as I said, I'm not sure...

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Aw, Stephanie...J.C. Penney and Sears SUCK!

Y'know, Target didn't blink an eye when I walked out with a TV under my coat. TARGET RULES!

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Alice said...

What the fuck is it with security guards? My friend had her belongings searched because of 'stealing' an item she had already paid for, even after she showed them the item and the receipt.

I did get told off during my stint in a supermarket once for supposedly letting somebody steal some underwear which was in clear sight of the desk I used to work on amongst other duties.
It happened several hours before I got there, but the security guard (who was an arrogant bastard to say the least) was determined that it was my fault and that I would be accountable for it. He continued to try and call me up on it until I told him to sod off so I could continue doing my job, which right then was changing the price on some DVDs.

He did in the end, complained about my 'negligence' to the departmental manager (who checked up and then reported HIM ), and never spoke to me again.

Gee, I wonder why...?

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Jexebel said...

Thanks for peeling the scab off of this traumatizing, funny story for my viewing pleasure.

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Alena said...

Haha.. great story. My traumatizing 'theft' story involved me at some tender age (somewhere between 5 and 7) picking up a hanger, just your garden variety wire or plastic, from a store and carrying it outside with me. I don't remember if I intended to take it or whether I'd simply forgotten to put it back down, but my dad started seriously FLIPPING and yelling at me. He then dragged me back inside to confess to my 'theft'. All I really remember is bawling, being totally shamed and humiliated, and having to go to the register lady in tears to explain that I'd taken the hanger.

As an adult, I kind of understand it on the principle of the matter, especially as a preventative for real theft.. but anyone else think 'hello, emotional abuse'?? I think walking out with a hanger warrants a discussion and/or a simple return, maybe, but not public humiliation. :\

At 8:15 AM, Blogger Alice said...

Lori, I popped an ode to you on my Blog, to try and ease the trauma those bastards caused.

Go ahead and read it, my darling girl, and hence forth know this fact:
Crap at poems, I may be, but my God, am I loyal!

At 11:52 AM, Blogger keef said...

I got busted for taking a jawbreaker out of the bulk candy bins at the grocery store. The manager basically humiliated me and kicked my nine-year-old ass out of the store. I probably deserved it, filching candy from other potential children.

Your story is awesome and I love it.

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Jexebel, if it made you laugh, my scab-peeling was worth every second of pain.

Alena, I feel much anger toward your father's "discipline." So angry, were I present at that moment, I would have taken the hangar and beaten him like Joan Crawford on crack until he apologized for being an ass to the sweet Alena. Seriously.

Alice, you rock.

Keef, that guy was King of All Dickwads. Those bins BEG to be picked from. In fact, years ago, when I worked in the deli at Bell's supermarket, I also was in charge of bulk, which was right across from the deli. Anyway, the manager told me to not mind if folks picked a treat here and there, because trying before buying is to be expected. The only time I was supposed to reprimand them was if they stuffed, like, handfuls into their pockets.

So yeah, that guy was King Dickwad to do that to you.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

Laughing laughing laughing.

Love the way you told this story, Lori! Maybe one day I'll have the courage to write about the one and only time I really did shoplift. Oh, the guilt!

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Alexis said...


At 9:01 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Thanks so much, Ellen! It's an honor to have you here, Ms. Bigshot Author who wrote about my life and, much to my chagrin, didn't change a thing except for the Clooney/Pitt bit. ;-)

Thank you, Alexis!


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