I am not a hero. I had always suspected as much, but now I know it’s true.
I popped round to the corner shop, just to pick up a few things, and noticed some dodgy-looking men hanging around outside. Nothing surprising there, really. I tried not to pay them any attention. You don’t, do you.
As I was pottering around at the back of the shop choosing the longest-dated bottle of milk, one of them comes in. Late 20s but looks older, scraggly beard, dirty jacket. Looks like he should be dragging a dog on a string behind him. Purposefully, he strides to the dairy fridges at the back of the shop, and starts grabbing packets of cheese off the shelf. Two at a time, stuffing them into a carrier bag he’d brought with him. One of his friends followed, jacket over his arm; he plucked something off a shelf and slipped it under his jacket.
Should I do something? Should I say anything? The cheese man eyed me up, as I put a yoghurt in my basket. As he looked sideways, he didn’t stop grabbing cheese and dropping it into his bag.
I did nothing. Nothing at all. “He might have had a knife,” I rationalised to myself. “He might have punched me.” Or he might just have ran. As it was, they walked out of the shop, as quickly as they’d came, with £20, £30 or more of cheese in the carrier bag. Is there a market now for black-market dairy produce? Has someone worked out how to get a legal high from mild cheddar? My logical mind says: it was the far corner of the shop, furthest from the tills, furthest from any of the staff, in a straight line to the door, and one of the most valuable products per kilogram in that part of the shop. The rest of me says: maybe he just liked a lot of cheese?