Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pants Meat

There are those--I live with one--who will be scandalized by this, but I am moved to record a phenomenon that threatens to survive only in one-paragraph police blotter items in tiny local papers and in ephemeral beer-aided conversations between friends. I am talking about the theft of meat by stuffing it down one's pants. I suppose that South Baltimore and Northern Anne Arundel County, in the State of Maryland, is an area not entirely unique in any repsect, and so this post is not only a getting-it-all-down-before-I-forget-it, but also a Call For Papers: Do you have any examples of this sort of criminal, hilarious behavior? Variations of it (see The Shrimp Guy, below*)? Share them, lest these stories be lost in the mists of oral tradition.

Every effort has been made to recall the facts of each incident. However, since most written record of these thefts went out with the recycling long ago, the editors claim no strict adherence to absolute truth. The humor inherent in each situation has been the driving force behind its preservation in memory, so perhaps truth has been sacrificed (but just a little) for the sake of a funny story.

#1--(three, maybe four years ago) A man is stopped at the door of a Severna Park supermarket by store employees, where it is "determined" that he has stuffed several steaks down his pants. The man is arrested.

#2--(a couple of years ago) Two guys are chased out of a supermarket in Severna Park by a store employee who sees them stuffing meat down their pants. Halfway across the parking lot, one of the guys draws a gun and waves it, running, at the employee, yelling "Is this stuff worth your family's lives? [sic]"

#3--(also a couple of years ago) A woman in extra-large sweatpants is stopped in a Washington, D.C. store by an employee who sees her stuffing meat down those sweats. She becomes really defensive, and then, exasperated by the employee's persistence, heaves a great sigh, pulls out the many meat packages, and throws them onto the floor. So there. Take that.

#4--(last year) We actually witnessed this one. A long-sought and transcendant experience. A scrawny young man is confronted by the Locust Point Shoppers Food security guard as he approaches the exit. She has seen him stuff, or suspects him to have stuffed, meat down his pants. He makes a break for the door, but the guard, a sizable woman not to be messed with, grabs him by the shirt, which the meat guy, about to cry (and nearly knocking over my cantaloupe-seeking wife), twists out of. He runs, minus shirt and meat (which came flying loose during his escape maneuver), out the door, leaving the guard holding a sweaty shirt, smiling, surrounded by celophane-wrapped steaks littering the floor.


I know that I have neglected at least one other local Pants Meat incident, but I do not trust my memory enough to reconstruct it. Others must. I will also request opinions on the following question: since in most cases the meat is recovered, how do you, gentle readers, feel about a "Half-Price! Pants Meat" bin?

*A friend of ours once worked in the D.A.'s office in the Bronx. She tells the story of a regular customer of the Bronx criminal justice system who would steal shrimp. He'd go up to a seafood counter and order a pound, or more, of raw shrimp, and as soon as the clerk would hand him the bag of little guys he'd bolt out the door. Usually he would get caught. On one occasion, a policeman saw him tearing down the street, bag of shrimp in hand, and gave chase. The Shrimp Guy ducked into a medical clinic or some sort of office and ran through the maze of cubicles and exam rooms to the bathroom. The policeman found him there, on the floor, furiously dumping the shrimp down a toilet, trying vainly to flush the evidence. Busted! Nothing down the pants, but I like the story.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous stickymcbiscuit said...

One of those 1980s teen-party movies, "Last American Virgin" I think, features pants meat as a pickup strategy -- the cute cashier stops our partying heroes as they're leaving the store with steaks pressed to their bodies. They invite her to the big party they're throwing that night, and she accepts. Hilarity ensues.

Maybe it's "Animal House."

9:58 AM  
Blogger Sister Sledgehammer said...

I once worked with a gal who liked the Brown Sugar. She pants-meated, pants-cigaretted and pants-Pampered (yup, diapers) to support her recreation of choice. Ever wondered how meats ended up in juice-joint raffles? Now you do.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Slimbolala said...

Once, in the parking lot of the Winn Dixie down here in New Orleans, Sarah, Cameron, and I witnessed an elderly couple stopped by the security guard and the manager. After brief questioning, the couple produced an impressive quantity of meat from their garmens and were then escorted back inside.

What happens to the Pant Meat after it's reclaimed?

1:50 PM  
Blogger Portipont said...

If all reports of pant-meating I have ever seen have a common thread, it is the missing information about what happens to it after it's recovered.

Hence my questions:

1. Would you buy--at a discount--cellophane-wrapped meat that had briefly (no pun inten--well, ok, pun intended) been in someone's pants?

2. At what discount would you consider the purchase? 25%? Half-price? 3-for-1?

3. Would your decision depend on the kind of meat? For instance, would you be okay with 25% for a thick, dense flank steak that doesn't warm up too quickly in the "environment", but demand a pretty deep discount for, say, tilapia or scallops?

3:50 PM  
Blogger David said...

[Lori]
1. I would not eat pant meat, no matter the discount or the cut. Not even for free. No way, no how.
2. Pants are for suckers.

11:47 PM  
Anonymous guile said...

ephemeral.. i love that word..

12:15 AM  

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