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Thursday 27th December 2012

Back to London and now have to try to nudge myself towards work mode in the hope that I can get my script finished before my holiday. I made no progress on that today, but ate healthily, didn't drink, went to the gym and read one of my Christmas books so it didn't feel like a bad day.
We went to the supermarket to pick up some food. Obviously there had been no fresh deliveries for a few days and there was a lot of stuff on offer because it all had today as the sell by date. We picked up two packs of asparagus that had originally been on a two for £3 offer (or £2 per single pack), but was now reduced to 29 pence a pack. I am a big fan of any food that can change the aroma of my urine and knew we'd be eating the stuff today anyway so bought two packets and was quite pleased with the saving.
But I was cautious because sometimes with these last minute reductions the scanning machine at the checkout will still charge the original price. Because of the two for £3 original offer I wanted to check that we didn't get overcharged and ruin everything. But when I looked at the receipt I was pleased to note that the correct price of 29p had been entered. I was even more pleased when I looked further down to see that the 2 for £3 offer reduction had also been instituted and that a credit of £1 had been added to the bill. As a late Christmas gift Ian Waitrose had given us two packs of asparagus and 42 pence. What a nice man.
Should I go back and inform the lady at the check out of the mistake? I was stealing asparagus and money from Waitrose, but on the other hand it was an error that would take a few minutes to sort out, wasting time for the staff and holding up the other customers. Selflessly I decided to keep the asparagus and the money.
But this was also a bit like one of those occasions when a cash machine starts giving out £20 notes when it thinks it's giving out tenners or when a supermarket makes a mistake and if you buy their bananas on offer you actually end up with more nectar points than the fruit costs. I realised I could go back and buy all the other asparagus in the store and maybe make up to five pounds profit (there weren't all that many packs left). Of course for this to work I'd also have to buy some other stuff too or the check out lady would spot the error when she was forced to give me money, so it might not be all that effective a sting. But it felt cool to be in this position of power, to have spotted a glitch that could allow me told riches (not as good as untold ones) and it was a real moral maze. Would it make me a bad person if I tried to pull this off? Or just a sad one?
I decided it wasn't worth the effort and I didn't want to risk prison when I had got away with the crime once. I also didn't feel too bad about it because we'd bought a pack of clementines that were on a two for one offer without realising and neither of us could be bothered to go and pick up another pack, so in essence we'd lost out on £2.15 worth of clementines, so Ian Waitrose was still £1.15 up on the deal. If anything he had stolen from us and it is he who should be spending new year in prison.
Having recently "borrowed" (and then returned) a shopping trolley from the same store it still felt good to have pulled off two crimes in two consecutive visits. The asparagus tasted extra good as I planned what I would do with the free 42 pence I had pocketed.

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