§ October 25th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

So in response to my post yesterday, about superhero-genre characters with little or no origins, commenter Stavner mentioned Gadget from the Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers cartoon. I wasn’t intending to bring in cartoons, since that opens up another whole can o’worms (where did Hong Kong Phooey learn his technique? Is Inspector Gadget a robot or a cyborg or what…if he’s a robot, what’s up with his “niece?” Why did Baron Otto Matic and Clutcher hate Tom Slick so much?), but it’s a fair point as well. To use a more recent example, I remember reading that the producers of the Teen Titans cartoon have no intention of explaining the origin of the team, since that’s sorta beside the point. The point being, of course, superhero action to entertain the kids, who, it’s assumed, don’t need a “beginning” to enjoy the show.

However, as a kid once myself, I know I spent a lot of my youth wondering about endings. Did the family on Land of the Lost ever get home? What happened during the last two years of the Enterprise’s five-year mission? You know, that sort of thing. To use an example that was just a tad after my time, many kids wanted an ending episode to the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon so badly that the rumor started that, in fact, there was a concluding episode produced and aired. (Mark Evanier, who worked on the show, says there wasn’t, and he should know.)

So FARK linked to this story about an IRS agent accused of allegedly stealing comics from a comic book store (to which the defense attorney’s reported rebuttal was an inquiry about the store’s tax records, which has what to do with the case, exactly?). Anyway, that reminded me that I haven’t really talked about shoplifting on my site, here, mostly because it’s too depressing. About 90% of the time, it’s kids trying to sneak out of the shop with a pocketful of unpaid-for trading card packs, though there’s the occasional person who tries to make his escape with a pantsload of Spawn comics (real example, unfortunately). I even caught one person blatantly trying to swap price tags on back issues right in front of me…I couldn’t kick that dope out of the store fast enough. Feh, sez I.

One of the behaviors described in the linked article I do see on a relatively frequent basis…the squirreling away of comics in “secret locations” for later retrieval. I don’t know who they’re trying to fool, exactly…do they think we don’t check the shelves for out-of-place material? We’re not exactly a giant warehouse, here…we’re a small business, and out of place things, even in a store as full of stuff as ours, stick out like sore thumbs. Are they hiding the items to come back and steal it later? Or, as I suspect is the case, are they hiding the items because they don’t have the money for it right now, and don’t want the item to sell out before they can come back with money to buy it? (And, usually, it’s an item that’s in no danger of selling out.) Of course, when we catch them in the act, we just come up right behind them, pull the item out of hiding and put it back where it goes, giving the perp our patented Sardonic Glare™ all the while.

One shoplifting story that did amuse me slightly…we spotted a young man pocketing some trading cards, who then quickly made his way to the exit to make good his escape. I immediately followed him outside and asked him what happened to the card packs he’d been carrying around. He immediately blurted out “Ileftthemonthecounterletmeshowyou” and ran back in the store. He charged to the back counter where the card packs were kept, clearly intending to dump his pocketed merchandise on the counter before I could get back there to see him do it, and thus claim they were there the whole time. However, my coworker at the time, Greg, who was, and still is, a mountain of a man, was waiting for him at that counter, arms crossed, glaring back down at the kid. Totally busted, and the kid knew it.

Ah, good times.

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