The Bacon Blagger!
This incident happened about two years ago when I was a “newbie” vendor. Every morning a large chap, fit with a mohican, used to run past, along with his chocolate Labrador. The dog frequently veered across the pavement or stopped dead to pick up and eat rubbish as they went and the man was always shouting at him ‘stop that, get on’! After a couple of months of this I barely noticed them anymore until one morning the dog veered towards my pitch and shoved its big hairy head into my rucksack. I immediately grabbed the dog’s collar and tried to drag it out but it was very strong and insistent. By now the owner had realised that the dog was missing and came back to find it. He stood a way off and shouted the animal again but made no attempt to come and help me. Eventually I managed to pull the lab out of my bag and saw that it had a paper bag in its mouth – my breakfast bacon roll! The dog then dashed off to join its owner and as I shouted “Hey, that’s my breakfast your dog’s got!” the man just turned away and ran on. When I saw the pair again the next morning I shouted, “Excuse me, your dog stole my breakfast yesterday. You owe me a bacon roll!” The man just glanced at me and then ran past as usual. I thought that maybe he hadn’t heard me properly, so when I spotted them again the next day, I shouted the same thing. This time the man certainly heard me but after giving me a long look, he ran straight on. This was pretty shabby behaviour. He had clearly seen his dog steal from my bag and had probably even seen the dog rip open the bag and eat the contents. I think most people would have offered the replace the stolen item, especially for a homeless Big Issue seller. This made me angry so the next week, on seeing the runner again, I shouted “Hey, you with the breakfast-stealer there, when are you going to man up and do the right thing?”. For the next two weeks, I shouted similar comments at him, hoping to shame him into some sort of apology or even the offer of a replacement roll, but he obviously had no shame at all because he just ignored me. Then after two weeks he must have had enough because I never saw him or his dog again – he must have chosen a quieter running route!