Was out at Barnes & Noble last night, one of my favorite hidey-holes when I just want some peace and quiet and to get out of the house. Downside, delightful as B&N tends to be, is that it's hard to escape without a book or five under my arm and a lighter wallet - and without having coffee and a nosh or two that I really ought to resist.
Of course, that's why most B&N's have coffee shops - not only is there the direct revenue stream, but the coffee shop increases customer dwell time and thus other purchases. Not a bad scheme, really.
I'd meandered over and got a promising collection of books, coffee, and forbidden yum before curling up in a nice wing chair and reading one or two of the less promising volumes and enjoying the peace and quiet.
The weather being accommodating of somewhat warmer attire, I was carrying the S&W 25-5 tucked discretely away about my person, and my dandy new-model Delica that I'd picked up in Colorado Springs a few days ago.
I'm not especially good, anymore, at diving so deep into a novel that the world just goes entirely away. Movement in my vicinity and any kind of unusual racket tends to ring my bell a bit and I'll glance up and see what's going on, I suspect because I don't want my peace and quiet messed with.
Having sat there for a bit, I found myself glancing up....as this rather rough-cut homeless-looking sort wandered from right to left across my field of vision - a sort not common in this particular environs. Seemed harmless enough, so glanced back down until friendly Mr. SubConscious again tweaked my sensitivies and here the dude was again, wandering back the other way - nothing really unusual, and no reason to take an interest and I began to wonder what was bothering me...
Of course, on this pass, when he went over to the cafe garbage can, opened up the access door and started rummaging for credit card receipts...it became a little more obvious. Semi-oblivious rent-a-cop was up at the counter, getting his coffee and pseudo-donut before going to stare intently at book buyers.
Responded well to a patented GC whistle, and a swift nod in the direction of the unusual activity, and followed the guy (wandering off w/ receipts in hand) off for a quick chat. And for the next hour or so, B&N became breaktime central for a couple of SPD units - one after another.
Didn't follow up, figuring I'd done my part. But sometimes, "no muss, no fuss" combined with quiet anonymity is plenty to produce that tiny little bit required to make the world a better place.
A cell phone is a pretty cool tool as well. And I happened to have one on me...but a quick whistle can work just fine, under the right circumstances. When possible, letting folks do their jobs dealing with the naughtier kids is a vast improvement over playing superhero (which, in my opinion, requires the recitation of many bad words and thorough expression of deep dismay), and cuts way down on the drama in ones life.
So no. No citizens arrest, no flying drop-kicks, and no public derring-do. Just a law-abiding citizen, reasonably alert and prepared for things to go sideways, discreetly tipping off the semi-pro team regarding naughtiness in progress.
No muss, no fuss - I'm calling it a win. And while it may be petty, it made me giggle and gave me a tiny little warm feeling in side.