In the world I live in I only read things, for the most part, on my laptop, my iPad and depending where I am at, say the checkout line at the grocery store, I’ll use my iPhone. I pay for the privilege to surf the interweb to find those things I want to know more about. Not so much gossip, but more of getting information ASAP. My wife, however, will find one of the longer checkout lines for her quest on whats going on in the world of gossip. Instead of reaching for her iPhone, she reaches for one of the US Weeklys, Star, Women’s Day or whatever magazine that has the hottest actress on the front accompanied by some sort of variation of the word “SCANDAL.” She’ll thumb through the pages, perusing what interests her as we take the slow, short steps closer to the cashier.
Right about the time that the customer ahead of us is pressing the PIN number into that calculator-with-a-pen-attached device, the magazine not so covertly goes back to the rack, usually in the wrong place as evident by the assortment of other periodicals in need of the Dewey-Decimal system to organize.
My thoughts to her is that what she’s doing is “stealing.” She disagrees. My argument is “You just used something and you didn’t pay for it.” Proud of this clear assessment and explanation thereof, she quickly took any points from my corner when she responded with “Its not stealing when you test drive a car is it?” Ouch. Now the very foundation of my belief system has been altered. I him-haw around it and said something to the effect of “…then I’m only going to eat half of this Snickers Bar.” She looks at me, knowing that my last ditch effort to redeem myself was thrown out the door, and I concede.
The sub-provision of the “You Break It, You Buy It” law has gone to the wayside of stamps, Travel Agents and home telephones. The world of technology actually allows us to peruse magazines in the palm of our hands, so really, the weekly rags at the checkout aren’t the only place to get a gossip fix. So why do we still do it? Since we’re visiting the land of tech right now, let’s liken the checkout line enlightenment to hooking up on to your neighbor’s WiFi. Right? I mean, its there. You’re only using it to find the info that you want. They’re not home. You’re bored, right? Why not.
I’m probably coming off as a holier-than-thou crumudgeon. I’m actually tongue-in-cheek about all this. I really don’t care if she reads the mags or not. Its one of those things that couples like to do. Besides, I lose every argument anyway and deep down, I think she knows I’m right.
So, is it stealing?
Rock forth, Mitch
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