Reality Suspended: Shoplifting
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Let us suspend reality for a moment.
We'll pretend that when we buy music legally, in the stores at the mall or downtown, there are no starving artists--the ones we can't see hidden behind all the label bullshit--to feed at the other end. We'll pretend that all musicians are rich and that most don't actually need every cent they get.
Music is expensive. Why do you suppose piracy has become so popular? Not only because it's so available and easy, but also because to buy music is to empty your pockets. People live off music, but not quite so much that they can give up several days' worth of meals to purchase a CD. So what do I do to avoid the high prices of aural entertainment?
Shoplift. Your mind goes straight to Winona Ryder (otherwise that one time you ....) with that word, I know, and now you're thinking that this affinity of mine is due to my celebrity status--some insane human psychosis I share with Winona and others that urges me to steal because I am famous. But no, I steal because I like to and because I invariably succeed, not necessarily because I need to.
The truth of the matter is that there would be no problem if I simply used my genius feminine wiles to avoid having to pay with money; I could get away with anything that way. But there is not quite so much fun in that.
On the days I plan to shoplift, I disguise myself. I'm someone new every time. I've been a fat elderly lady with wispy white hair and in a brown flowered dress; I've been a lonely old geezer in a wheelchair; I've been a washed-up, wrinkled old broad with too much makeup and not enough clothing. I can do wonders to myself, changing from one of the most gorgeous creatures in the known universe to a minor character, a flawed individual.
I always make sure there's someone looking when I slip a CD or two down my flouncy underdrawers, under my top hat, or inside my enormous sleeves. When the alarm goes off as I casually take my leave, they take off after me. I outrun security every time, and they are never able to identify or find me. How exactly I manage it, however, is a secure secret.
It's not so much the chase that's thrilling, but the disguise, the trickery, the very fact that I have fooled those who think themselves so superior to me because I am old or in a wheelchair. I fool them into believing I am what I am not, and I cheat those rich musical bastards of their dirty money.
I only shoplift CDs, however. I don't shoplift clothing because of those ink tags they've so cleverly attached to most items. And besides, my body is so universally worshipped that I am the constant recipient of gifts in the form of clothing, rendering the need no longer. I don't shoplift food or other of life's little necessities because in those cases I am not above using my said wiles to obtain what I require.
This is only one of the many ways of fooling the system to get what you want, but it's difficult, I daresay nearly impossible to succeed when you're not me. You have to have just the right sort of talents, abilities, and brains, and that very few are blessed with having--nay, that very likely only one has.
Tune in next time for the second installment of this delectable Reality Suspended series, showing what you never could do before and still can't do now!
Laura Joldersma knows Winona Ryder.