What happens when I become an on-the-loose-food-thief? Good intentions may not keep me from jail, but I am hoping they keep me in your good graces.
When I scheduled a trip to Cape Girardeau to spend time with my sister, little did I know I would become an-on-the-loose-food-thief.
Let’s just say there was no premeditation on my part.
I entered into this trip with a full enough belly and enough money to buy plenty of food. My sister even stalked the mini fridge in our hotel room while she was waiting for me to arrive. (A wrong turn and two stop-and-go traffic jams delayed my arrival time.)
Please know that hunger was clearly not the reason for my predicament.
Nor was it because I like to live near the edge of heart stopping adventure. Because I don’t.
I know of no exact reason for my food theft. And that while my sister was with me, she is not a true accomplice, as she had no knowledge of the true facts until after the incident.
Here are the facts. Come to your own conclusion.
It was a Sunny Saturday in Cape Girardeau when my sister and I left the Hampton Inn and drove to our first winery in the rolling hills southeast of town. At the first place we had a few tastes, chatted with some people, and then left. We drove for a while. Stopped for some pictures. Pulled over to see the Missouri River and watch a train cross the bridge. Passed a weekend wedding. And finally made it to our second destination. A winery in the countryside with a beautiful view.
Here is where you need to start paying attention.
We ordered a glass of wine, a cheese and sausage basket for two, and a hot pretzel. My sister handed me some cash and I pulled out some cash. I held $25.00 out to the lady helping us. But she waved it away.
“I’ll start you a tab,” she said, writing our name at the top of a piece of paper. (Note: She did not take a copy of our credit card, our license plate, a phone number, a picture of us, our shoe size, or any identifying feature.)
“We won’t be ordering anything else, so we’ll just pay now,” I said. I waved the money above the counter and then set it down.
“No,” she said. “Pay at the end.”
“Apply this to our tab,” I said.
She persistently scooped the money up and handed it back to me.
I shrugged at my sister and tucked it into the front of my purse so I could pay before we left.
Please note that I did try to pay for the food we were going to ingest.
Sis and I went outside and sat looking at the scenery, eating, and talking.
After about two hours we decided to go. And while I went back inside to use the ladies’ room, I didn’t remember to pay our tab.
It was only later in the evening, around 6:00 pm, when Sis and I were taking a long walk, that I remembered that we had dined, dashed, and not paid.
We called the winery and told the lady who had helped us that we would send her the money. She laughed and said this happened all the time. Which made me wonder why she doesn’t have people pay up front like we tried to.
Then she told us our bill was $65.00. We reminded her that we had consumed only about $25.00 worth of food, and then she laughed and said, oh yes, we owed $26.04.
After our walk, I moved the cash and the address of the winery to a book I was sure to open when I got home. I continued to enjoy my trip. Quite sure that I would send her the money when I got home and had access to stamps and an envelope.
Two weeks later I was telling my daughter about our trip when I realized that I could not remember if I had sent the money to cover our tab.
Nope. There it was in a book I had not opened in two weeks.
I spent a restless night avoiding cops in my dreams and running from a lady who was brandishing a large glass bottle in my direction. Next morning, I addressed an envelope, wrote a check, and mailed the whole thing with a note. Done.
Two weeks later my husband tells me the lady from the winery called to say that I had not signed my check.
I wondered if she thought I had deliberately not signed the check? Did she think I was still trying to avoid paying for food we consumed?
Would this tab ever get paid? And my name taken off the list of do-not-serve-because-of-outstanding-bill, which I was sure hung behind the counter. My mug shot large and center, next to my name. With a big T (for thief) across my forehead.
The next day we did manage to connect via phone. I gave her my credit card, and she said she tore up my check.
Now I ask you, patient reader, couldn’t this whole thing have been avoided it she had just taken the money I was pressing her to take when we first ordered?
Let it be known that while my sister and I did not pay for our nourishment from this winery for about 4 and a half weeks, we did not deliberately or in good conscience try to get away with not paying.
If you visit a little winery in the countryside of Cape Girardeau and you see a wanted picture of me for skipping out of paying for a cheese and sausage basket and a hot pretzel, and then sending an unsigned check, and for causing frustration of an unbalanced day’s food receipt, please know it was not my intention to not pay.
And if my wanted pictures has darts across my face, let it be known that this may happen to you if you skip out without paying.
I rest my case. And I hope you won’t judge me too harshly.
Have a good week and don’t forget to laugh at life.
Join the discussion: Have you ever skipped out without paying?
May link up at Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), Anita Ojeda (#inspirememonday), InstaEncouagements ((IE Link-Up), and Jeanne Takenaka (#tellhisstory).
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Hello, This is the Sister.
I blame it on the Beautiful View and Good Company (my sister). It obviously wasn’t from the one glass of wine we drank over the hour & a half we were there.
I can see your picture now, hanging behind the bar by the sign that said, “WINE! How classy people get wasted” (Good thing we aren’t that “Classy”)
Next time we can tell the cashier, “Now or possibly never” when it comes to paying. LOL
All I can say is, “Ladies, trips with the Boedeker Sisters is always a FUN adventure!”
Ladies trips with the Boedeker sisters is always a fun adventure!! Love our trips.
Yes, next time let’s tell the cashier, now or possibly never! LOL Either that, or you must be mighty persistent. 🙂
Pam Ecrement says
Love this story, Theresa, and it is so funny except it isn’t quite. No idea why the woman would not have accepted the money after you offered it multiple times on the front end. The pics are beautiful as well!
Theresa Boedeker says
Thanks Pam. I was trying to write it funny, but it all could have easily been avoided. 🙂
Lisa Blair says
Bless your heart! I guess most people eat more snacks, thus the running tab. I guess they did get your contact information for follow-up.
Theresa Boedeker says
No, they asked for no contact info. but a first name. We could have easily skipped paying them as they had no credit card or anything. Luckily we are honest.
Theresa, this made my day! I laughed so hard I cried. I agree with you, if the lady had let you pay up front this would never have happened! I did skip out without paying my groceries once, they had changed the card reader so you pulled the card out BEFORE agreeing to the payment rather than the old way of agreeing to the payment THEN pulling the card out. They did track me down and after a suspicious interrogation I paid the bill!
Donna, glad this gave you a laugh. Goal accomplished. I had to laugh about your story. You almost got free groceries. New technology sometimes bites us and causes more work, than the promise of saving us time.
Anita Ojeda says
We’re a lot alike 😆. I’ve never forgotten to pay, but my mind often jumps to the worst case scenario!
I even wondered if they had cameras on their establishment and could somehow track us down via our license plate and the first name we left. 🙂 Or I guess by our appearance.
Linda Stoll says
I leave here smiling.
I just love this story, Theresa!
Glad to hear.
Ashley Rowland | HISsparrowBlog says
Love this story, Theresa! Sometimes you just got to laugh. Last night, my husband and I stopped at the grocery store for our weekly stock-up. We paid and were walking out when I saw a stand of hand warmers (like they always put where you’re walking out and already paid). I thought “Oh, I need some of those” and just almost grabbed one or two or three like they were passing them out free when I realized what I was thinking. I didn’t even do it, but I was mortified when I realized what I could have done. Like you said, sometimes we just have to laugh at life.
Ashley, your story made me laugh. Yes, why do they put stuff for you to buy after you have paid. And yes to laughing at life. It makes life more enjoyable.
I loved your story, Theresa! I have never skipped left without paying but my mum tells a story of many years ago when she was on holiday with her aunt on one of the Scottish islands and they went to a cafe for lunch. Each of them assumed that the other one had paid and it was only later that day when they were on a bus tour on the other side of the island that they realised what they had done! I don’t think they ever paid, so there are probably “wanted” posters there still, although I think this was the in the 1960s or 70s so hopefully it’s been forgotten by now!
I was cracking up, after reading about your aunt and mom. Another proof that sometimes mistakes happen when you are having fun. If they are still there, those would be some old “wanted” posters. LOL
Barbara Harper says
Thanks for the smile! Hopefully this incident made the waitress change her ways and take people’s money *when they offer it.* It’s odd that she didn’t–maybe she was holding out hope you’d buy more?
I can’t think of a time when we forgot to pay. But when my husband was in college, they had two cars worth of students traveling from ID to school in SC. They stopped for gas, everyone visited the restrooms, and they took off, assuming they had everyone. But they left someone behind without realizing it. Worse, when he got done in the bathroom, he came out to find the station closed. Worse yet, his girlfriend, in one of the cars, *knew* he wasn’t with them. They had been fighting, and she figured being left behind served him right. They were not happy with her! This was before the days of cell phones, but they did have CBs. I think the guy ended up calling the police, and a message was sent via CB through truckers until it finally got to them.
I think she was holding out for us buying more.
Poor guy. He was lucky they had CB’s. I can imagine the two had a bit of a frosty reunion.
Jeanne Takenaka says
Theresa, this story is FUNNY. To my knowledge, I’ve never dined and dashed. Though, I can’t be entirely certain. Sometimes, we just need to roll with it and hope we’re acting with integrity. Thank goodness for God’s grace, right? 🙂
Yes, Thanks for God’s grace. Even if we dine and dash. 🙂