Monday, July 20, 2009

HOW WE GET PAID.


People are out of work, because of words. Global Financial Crisis. The Recession. Economic Downturn. These are the words that mean people have no jobs, and dole queues are getting longer. I am not an economist, and it isn't worth going in to the “why” of it all. Jesus, the job I'd do even attempting to explain it all would be horrible. Second rate. I think I'm still trying to get my head around what sub prime mortgages and mortgage backed debentures and all these things are. Maybe we are 'in recovery' by now – 'had a good quarter' and this sort of thing. It doesn't matter. People are increasingly broke. I don't even really know what I mean when I say this, but I feel it is probably the fault of “capitalism”, “the corporations” and “consumer society” that we are broke. Class consciousness // class war, and all that. I don't know. It doesn't really mean anything. Just labels attached to the idea that every single person is just trying to get ahead for themselves, I guess. Pretty much just want to tell people to go do some crimes, get ahead and scream 'fuck the world' while out stealing bikes. One way or another, we're getting paid:

STEAL.

Supermarkets are pretty much your prime target in a “stealing to get by because I lost my job because of the recession and I can't be fucked filling out three hundred and sixty eight WINZ forms” kinda way.

The first thing to say is that confidence is everything. It is almost necessary that you cultivate an attitude of entitlement to free shit. “Because of the corporations, man”. This is justification enough. You feel like you should be getting things for free. You don't have any guilt. You don't have the nervous, piss-smelling sweat of a nervous criminal. And so things become easier! Oh, and not dressing like some homeless dude helps too.

So, you're Sunday suited, optimistic and free of nerves. You walk into a supermarket – ideally with money on you so you can pretend you forgot to pay, in the unlikely chance of getting caught.

What you're after is small, expensive items. Things to eat, or things to use. Smaller things = easier to conceal. Expensive things = more “worthwhile”, in terms of the risk / payoff etc. This is all essentially asinine though – take whatever you want / need / think you can manage.

TRADITIONAL

Basically, the most straight-forward way to go about things would be to get something off the shelf, wander around for some time, and then put it in a jacket / pants pocket. Obviously, bigger pockets are better for something like this. If something is too big for a pocket, under your armpit inside your jacket can be a good place. Look casual. Look like you're adjusting yourself with the item the hand is in, and let it go. It probably works best if you do this after walking away from where you picked the item up. But – this doesn't mean wander around the shop for fucking ages, and then leave with nothing. This is suspicious, and the goal is the opposite of that. The goal is to look like a normal shopper who was after something, couldn't find it and left. Not like some broke dude promoting goods because, well, he/she is a broke dude.

LEFT HAND

Maybe, though, you don't wanna just put shit in your pockets. Itchy nerves and paranoid melting faces maybe – heartbeats skipping in impossible rhythms at the very thought of it, maybe you need a quick fix and easy fix, something to just get you through the day? Melodrama. Lefthanding, I guess, works well in this situation. Even less risk. What you do, I guess, is buy something cheap from somewhere like a supermarket or chain store. Hold your purchase (and the money for it) in your right hand. Complete the transaction entirely with your right hand. But, what of the left hand? Is it nowhere to be seen in this transaction? Nah. Hold the stuff you wanna steal in your left hand, hanging low. Under the line of the counter – below view of the cashier who's punching in your right hand shit. The idea is that they won't see the item, and have less reason to suspect you of any crimes because you have made a purchase. Once you have paid for the items in your right hand, you keep walking, with the left hand item kept concealed. And if they catch you, excuses jump instantly - "I was gonna pay for it with another bank card and forgot" - "I just wanted to get a price check, sorry, I'm totally asleep today". You can add some “advanced mode” shit to this by filling a back full of groceries / other shit and lefthanding the entire thing, or using a skateboard to even better hide the left-hand stuff from the “prying eyes of big business / corporations / 'the man, man'.

The main point here is that confidence is everything. Most people working at places worth stealing from don't want to catch you – far too much hassle, and everyone involved gets embarrased. Plus, there is this general tendency to think the best in other people. Why not take advantage of the “oh he must have paid for that” assumption. A grand circle of evolutionary tendencies and interaction, boy oh boy.

BOOZE

Stealing doesn't have to mean just taking shit from a shop. Even though that is the definition of the word. This is misleading. What I am trying to say is that there are other ways to get free shit from shops, because you are broke or you hate everyone or whatever other fucking antisocial malaise which is kicking teeth and leading to “criminal mentality” these days. Alcohol taxes are going up, yet life is increasingly unbearable sober. We are awkward and unable to communicate. We are inhibited and boring and forget how to properly tell our best stories, and we are terrified of shadows. We are a generation where communication happens drunk or through endless copper wire. We need cheap liquor. This price rise / increased reliance is no coincidence and I think some sort of graph of correlation could be produced by someone with those abilities. But I can't offer graphs at this point in time.

FRAUD

Crate fraud / beer fraud will get you free beers. This is a promise. You just need a bottle capper, which you can buy at like brewing shops and places like that – a worthwhile investment. And then – the fraud. Next time you drink beers, open them gently. Save the caps, the packaging and the bottles. Obviously, drink the beer. Then, refill the bottles with water, re-cap them and glue the packaging back together. The idea is that it looks like a brand new box / crate of beer, but is actually filled with water. Now, you drive to the liquor store. You have the water-beer in the back seat of your car, and you go inside the store, and buy a box / crate of the exact same beer as the water-beer. Now you take it to your car. Now you pick up the water-beer in your car, and walk with it back in to the liquor store. You address the clerk, eyes hard and mind clear - “I bought the wrong beer for my flatmate. Do you mind if I swap it over real quick?”. You trade the water-beer for a box of actual beers. Two for the price of one. I think my favourite thing about this is that someone buys a dozen full of water, and the people at the shop are totally never gonna believe them. “These bottles were filled with water when we bought them!”. Maybe don't do this too often at your local liquor shop, else you'll get busted and look like a chump.

BARCODES

Pretty girls only date dudes who drink expensive wine. This is not true, but you can pretend it is and use it to justify ripping off supermarkets (which have self-checkout units) for expensive wine. This, unfortunately, requires technology and a small investment. Planning, planning, planning and effort also. Here is the general outline. Firstly, you need a scanner and a printer. Laser-jet is best, but any will do. Also, you need some sticker paper, to print on to. Once this is sorted, go out and buy the cheapest bottle of wine you can find. Then, you scan the barcode. And then, you print it out on sticker paper. Maybe at this point where this is going has become obvious. Next, you get a nice bottle of Ch√Ęteau Margaux or whatever off the shelf, and cover its barcode with the one you printed out. Obviously, try be subtle about this. Then just self-checkout, and everything is done. Cheap wine that doesn't taste like the floor sweepings of bad Scrumpy and grape juice. This is pretty bourgeois, eh.

I hope all this makes sense and maybe results in free / cheap shit for anyone in need. Feel entitled, feel confident, don't get shook if anyone asks you about stuff, and you'll probably be fine. Or you'll get trespassed from the store or at worst eat a shoplifting arrest / charge, probably get diversion or community service and continue with your shitty life with absolutely no regrets. Sometimes things get overwhelming and you can feel like you're losing a race you never really agreed to run in the first place. And sometimes, you've gotta take shortcuts.

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