ELMHURST – Stating that he simply took advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself, local resident Bruce Mercer told a handful of reporters gathered in the utensils and cookware aisle of the S. York Street Jewel-Osco Thursday evening that cutting in front of seven other customers at the deli counter just moments earlier was the riskiest move he has made at the grocery store since snatching three tasting cups of Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps from an unattended sample table last April.
“It was really tense there for a moment,” said Mercer, who was holding ticket 62 but answered the third call for number 55 after no one else claimed to be holding the ticket. “I think a few of the other customers were suspicious that it wasn’t my number, but once I committed to being number 55, I just had to go with it.”
Sensing that he shouldn’t draw more attention to himself than needed, Mercer stated that he scratched four of the seven different sliced meats and cheeses he intended to buy and refrained from speaking up when the deli counter worker went slightly over on weighing out his requested one-quarter pound of Signature Brand smoked provolone.
“There was this one customer who was eye-balling me from the moment I started ordering,” said Mercer, who crumbled up his ticket and put it into his mouth to destroy the evidence of his wrong-doing. “I wasn’t going to swallow the ticket, but when the deli counter worker handed me a sample slice of pastrami, I had no choice.”
At press time, Mercer was contemplating whether he should enter the “15 Items Or Less” aisle with his shopping basket stuffed with 20+ items.