Don’t @ me: Stealing is an idea worth considering

Alleged petty crimes committed at your local Pharmaprix

For legal reasons, this is a joke. Graphic Joey Bruce

Do you ever find yourself in front of a $15 bottle of nail polish and think how good it would feel to steal it? I’m not encouraging theft, but all I’m saying is, who’s going to know?

Every day on my way home I walk past a grocery store that keeps fresh produce on some racks outside. With delicious looking vegetables a mere grabbing distance from my fingers, the thought pops in my mind yet again. There’s nothing but my morality standing between me and some fresh tomatoes.  

I’m not saying I’ve ever performed the act of stealing, but the almost orgasmic effect this fantasy gives me keeps me going on days where nothing else will. 

The what-ifs keep me on the edge of my toes, licking my lips at the anticipation that—while making the rounds of my neighbourdhood’s IGA—an avocado or two may find a new home in my trusty tote bag. My bag, friend and accomplice alike.  

The joy that the simple idea of stealing brings me is unsurprising if we take a moment to observe the way the world works.

Most days, I’m angry at the world. I’m angry that I have to pay more than a thousand dollars for an education that seems futile at the present time. Angry that when I fail to pay my tuition on time, because I have to think about other budgetary deadlines, I’ll have to pay more, penalized for my lateness.

When situations such as this one hit and leave me for dead, the only thing I can do—that’ll make me feel like I haven’t yet lost control of my own actions—is the simple act of theft. At least, the mere thought of it.

I’m tired of paying for things that I remember being a dollar cheaper not even a year ago—a McDonald’s Junior Chicken being an example among countless others.  

On top of my education and the extracurricular activities I take part in, I work 27 hours a week. My bi-monthly pay seems so small—compared to my monthly expenses— I often end up pondering what the point of it all is. 

I’m a simple cog in the machine that forms Montreal’s working population, and stealing liberates me from that reality. It’s fun, rebellious, and I’m not hurting anyone by snatching items from corporations that’ll most likely never stumble upon my case file.  Or so goes the fantasy.  

After all, why shouldn’t I—as an unimportant player in this game we call life—be allowed to feel empowered by taking from the people who wrong me daily. 

I’ll be the irritating mosquito buzzing in the ears of capitalism. Maybe my actions won’t do much—as a patronizing hand swats me away with a $100 lump sum worth of hush money—but at least I’ll be annoying, and isn't that what actually matters?

In the end, if I end up walking away from the Pharmaprix with nothing but my tote bag jangling uncontrollably, who’s to say the three empty spaces on the nail polish aisle have anything to do with me.