Just as I got to the front of the queue, a young lady came up and quietly told the cashier that there was "a girl down that aisle, clearly shoplifting." She gestured towards an aisle the entire length of which the cashier happened to have a very clear view of from where she was standing, if she turned 90 degrees to her left.
So the cashier thanked the young lady, and the witness left without divulging any further information. I mean, there were at least three girls milling about at the alleged scene of the crime, and by the time the cashier had been alerted, it was really hard to tell which of them could have been the culprit. In the meantime the line had grown, but we'd all heard the problem, and so were waiting patiently.
And what did the cashier do next?
She stared blankly at us. Or somewhere roughly at eye-level in our direction. For about 15 very still, very quiet seconds. In writing it sounds like no time wasted out of my life, but that's not the point. Try sitting very still and not blinking for 15 real seconds when you're with someone else, they'll think you've entered some special zone or something.
Finally I thought she'd just given up. "Excuse me, I'm looking for contact lens solution?" I asked.
She looked at me like I had no sense whatsoever in that head of mine and huffily said, and I quote: "LOOK, it's over there, I'm busy, I have to deal with this first."
Then she left the counter. I happened to glance down the aisle and there was just an old guy there by that time, and she hadn't even pointed to where the damn bottles were. I eventually found them between the vitamins and the shampoo.