Author – Mickey
I like the story of the shoplifters shoes being taken so I’ve written another ‘Me in your stories’.
Shoplifters shoes -The Apprentice
I started a new job as an apprentice on a building site, it was good wearing my hard hat, high viz jacket and my new black Timberland work boots. I looked the part even though I was new and just learning. I was concious of pranks being made on new apprentices and kept my wits about me, much to the dismay of others.
At lunchtime some of the guys decided to go to the shop for a sandwich, I was asked to come along. In the van Dave asked if I had ever stolen anything before. I acted cool and said ‘Always when at school’ but really I hadn’t. ‘As an initiation I want you to steal me a sandwich from that shop’ he said. ‘If you don’t then we’ll have to start some initiations on the building site which will be far worse than stealing a sandwich ‘ he said menacingly. ‘You could lose them nice boots too’ said Harry. Acting the big man I said ‘ Nobody is getting my boots’ I got out of the van thinking I’ll just buy his sandwich when Harry said ‘Empty your pockets we can’t have you pretending to steal’. I put my money on the dashboard. ‘Shit’ I thought, I really do have to steal a bloody sandwich.
I entered the shop and went to the chiller and picked up two sandwiches and quickly putting one of them in my pocket. I wandered around before going to the till. The shopkeeper asked for payment and I said I have left my money in the van and would just go and get it. I headed for the door when another guy stopped me. He asked me to empty my pockets. I gave him the stolen sandwich as I apologised. He walked me back to counter and pointed at a sign. My face drained as I read it ‘Steal from us and we’ll take your shoes’. ‘Take them off’ said one of them. I tried to explain I’d been set up but they still demanded my boots. ‘Police or your boots, your choice’ said the other shopkeeper. Some kids in the shop started laughing as I sat on the floor to unlace my Timberlands. They stopped laughing when the shopkeeper took sweets out of their pockets and they where soon relieved of their footwear too. He placed the school shoes on the shelf and was trying to make space for my size 10 boots. The school kids left in their socked feet as I stood in my socks pleading for my boots back. ‘If you have been set up, go get the guy and we’ll see what we can do’ said one of them.
I walked out of the shop, Dave and Harry where laughing in the van. Then they drove off leaving me stranded in the street, stood in high viz jacket and jeans tucked into my bright red football socks, no boots and no money. If the high viz jacket didn’t make me noticeable then the red socks did as everyone stared at my shoeless feet. After a few minutes the van returned with my so called workmates still laughing. I asked Dave to return to the shop with me to explain the prank or they will call the police. He refused at first as he wanted everyone on the building site to see me without my boots and that he was the victor in the prank. Then he reluctantly agreed leaving Harry in the van. He was laughing at my red socks as we walked, he reminded me of what I’d said earlier ‘Nobody’s getting my boots’.
‘Here’s the guy who set me up’ I said to the shopkeeper. Dave explained that he was the instigator of the prank and offered to pay for the sandwich and not to call the police. ‘We won’t call the police unless you refuse to cooperate. Dave looked puzzled, the shopkeeper said ‘You told him to steal, the stolen sandwich was for you so technically your the thief’. Dave could see where this was going as he looked down at his own boots, worrying that he was about to be relieved of them. ‘I’ve stolen nothing’ he said. Dave was a tough guy but not as big as the two shopkeepers who where now surrounding him. ‘Boots or the police, your choice’ they said. Dave could see the smirk on my face as he sat on the floor to unlace his black DeWalt boots. His jeans where tucked into thick grey boot socks. The shopkeeper picked up Dave’s boots and placed them on the shelf next to my Timberlands. I smiled at my sock footed workmate, revenge was sweet, he now had no boots and I was to get mine back. I asked for my boots. ‘No’ said the shopkeeper ‘You could of said no to your workmate but you didn’t and stole anyway, so we’re keeping your boots too’.
As we where about to leave without our footwear Harry appeared. He looked at Dave and burst out laughing ‘Where’s your boots man’. Dave’s face went pink with embarrassment. The shopkeeper looked through some printed video stills in a folder named ‘The one’s that got away’. He recognised Harry in one of the photos. The shopkeeper showed the photo to Harry. ‘That’s you stealing beer last week’, Harry denied it was him. ‘You’re wearing the same clothes and those distinctive Caterpillar boots too, which we’ll be taking’ said the shopkeeper. Harry tried to leave but his path was blocked. ‘Boots off now’ demanded the shopkeeper. It was Harry ‘s turn to sit on the floor and remove his boots. The shopkeeper quickly grabbed the Caterpillar boots and put them on the counter. Harry stood up revealing black socks on his feet. There was no space for anymore boots on the shelf so he threw Harry’s boots into an empty trolley cage instead and then took mine and Dave boots off the shelf and threw them in too. He then padlocked the cage with our boots inside. ‘We’re going to make an exception to the rules, as you stole from us one week ago we’re going to keep your boots locked in this cage for one week’. Dave said that we needed our boots for work. The shopkeepers where unsympathetic as we watched them push the locked cage with our boots inside to the stockroom.
All three of us left the shop in our socked feet, Dave expected me to return to work without my boots and not for his prank to backfire so badly for him and Harry to be shoeless too. Losing my boots was a price worth paying to see my workmates getting their boots confiscated and seeing their socked feet.