The Ballad of Two Shoplifters, or Crime Doesn’t Pay But the Hours are Good.

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The wind chill, it was bitter; the snow had drifted down,

When the Bad Girls drove in to the prosp’rous little town.

They ate a meal at Denny’s, and paid the check with cash;

Then at Kohl’s Department Store they collected their first stash.

 

Oh, they were very clever; these daring racketeers;

They boosted dresses left and right, and swiped five chandeliers.

Their vehicle was parked away from prying spying eyes.

They had no trouble packing up their predatory prize.

 

Next they struck a Walmart, and stole fine jewelry;

The clerks were careless, on a break, or some tomfoolery.

Their luck held with Cabela’s; they looted it in style,

Secluding tons of spinner baits as they walked down the aisle.

 

At Target it was cell phones; at Lowe’s a sack of nails.

At Barnes & Noble they made off with books about Versailles.

Their crime spree wasn’t over; they couldn’t stop themselves –

They had to visit Walgreens and swipe Bag Balm off the shelves.

 

Their car was near to bursting, but one more heist they gaily planned;

They’d sneak into Schmitt’s Music to kidnap a baby grand.

Although it was fantastic, they did turn the trick by golly –

And even got a salesman to transport it with a dolly!

 

Their wiles were subjugating the whole retail industry;

Was there no way to prevent their sad skullduggery?

The big box stores laid traps amain, but it was all in vain;

These female kleptomaniacs had good fortune as their swain.

 

But at last the fates decreed these women bandits must

Be thrown down from their pedestal and eat a peck of dust.

(For ev’ry epic ballad must detail the rise AND fall

Of the bad and prideful, of the tyrant or gun moll.)

 

And so it came to pass that our two scofflaws one day went

Into a nearby dollar store to buy some Pepsodent.

But force of habit made them hide two tins of plain sardines

In the pockets of their stolen, stone-washed Levi jeans.

 

Alarums sounded ev’rywhere and cops showed up in haste.

They put the two offenders in a dim cell, cold and chaste.

They’re locked up until sunshine comes in many hues of green,

Until the big box stores decay . . . and Congress grows serene.