Matt Holt: Just write the AM/PM story.
Me: (Sigh) Okay.
First off, scroll down the page and read the articles I wrote last week. They’re better than this article, and judging by the site hits over the holiday weekend, you may have missed those pieces. So please, have a look and return.
All right. Now that that’s over with, here’s the AM/PM story.
So Matt Holt (@TheMattHolt on Twitter…ladies) and I are making a quick stop at AM/PM, when I notice that ARCO offers a $25,000 reward for reporting shoplifters. Yes. Twenty-five-thousand American dollars. That’s absolutely ridiculous.
In case there’s any doubt about how serious they are about this reward, the little sign tacked to the door reads something like the following:
“Crime doesn’t pay here…BUT STOPPING IT DOES!!!!”
It’s almost like a game show, I start thinking to myself. You’re a winner if you capture a petty thief. It’s like hitting the $10,000 slot on Plinko twice. Then hitting the $5,000 slot on top of that. And if you’ve ever watched The Price Is Right, you know that sh*t never happens. Ever. It’s akin to stopping the yodeler from yodeling his way off the cliff in Cliffhanger. It’s impossible. I swear to God that little Swiss man is suicidal. If I got selected to play that game, I’d probably just walk right off the stage. It’s not even worth it.
“Eff it, Drew, I forfeit. Take me to spin the wheel. Let’s go. This is some bullshit. That little jerk was gonna kill himself, anyway.”
So I say to Matt Holt, “You know what, it doesn’t seem worth it to pay someone $25,000 to turn in a shoplifter. In fact, that might just increase the chances of someone shoplifting.”
Think about it. It’s not even debatable. If you knew you could get $25,000 at the back end, it would be worth it to arrange for some sort of misdemeanor candy bar heist.
“You could get ten friends to steal candy bars,” says Matt Holt, “then go halfsies with each of them after you turn ’em in.”
“And you could cover all their court fees and bail money, too,” I surmise.
Which begs the question of why no one does this.
Now, of course, there is no guarantee that you will receive $25,000. ARCO pledges to pay up to that amount. Very sneaky with their language is ARCO.
But there has to be some sort of range, right? Really, what kind of shoplifting endeavor could ever warrant a $25,000 reward.
“Sorry, boss. I came into work this morning and everything was gone. The cash registers, the ghetto ATM, all the food, the gas pumps, the squeegees. Oh, and they siphoned all the gas from our tanks, too. And they stole all the toilet paper rolls from the bathroom. They stole the foundation, in fact.”
Now in that instance, yes, you would certainly want to award twenty-five-grand for the effort of tracking down the perp. Makes sense.
But what do you get for snatching up some kid that tries to sneak off with a Caramello?
“Sir, I found this child with this Caramello about to leave your store. You’ll notice it’s a King Size. That’s probably worth at least ten-, fifteen-thousand to your establishment. I’m prepared to take a check.”
Where do we draw the line? And is this just a big trick that ARCO’s playing on us? We need answers!
If you’d like to be a part of my posse that attempts to test the ARCO rewards program, here’s what we need:
-A grease man
-A gymnast, like the Chinese guy in Ocean’s Eleven
-Someone who knows a good lawyer
-Someone who’s handy with pyrotechnics
-Three hot chicks (for no real reason)
Once the crew is assembled, I think we’re ready to collect our rewards. No hostages. No prisoners. This will be a peaceful, non-violent mission.
And when it’s all said and done, we’ll all be financially better off for it.