Once, in high school, I had to sell candy bars for the swim team or something, which involved carting around a box of candy bars (probably World’s Finest, the official fundraising candy bar of the Chicago South Side). I foolishly headed out from chemistry class when the bell rang, forgetting the box under my desk. By the time I reached the doorway, I remembered, and turned around to find that my fellow students had taken my entire stash in the few seconds I had left it unattended. What’s worse, the chem teacher called me out for disrupting the classroom.
As haunted as I’ve been by that particular entry on my list of mortifying teenage moments, I an somewhat bolstered today by the news that the fate of my candy bars probably wouldn’t have happened in Canada. In Ontario, an entire grocery store was left unlocked accidentally over the Family Day holiday of February 19, and not a thing was stolen. Shoppers faced with the lack of employees at the Food Basics store left cash or IOUs, according to CTV. One elderly woman who left empty-handed just left a note for the manager, saying she wanted flour and eggs to make a cake.
Since we could expect an open store like this to be looted pretty much anywhere in the U.S. (just like my chem class), even the Canadian police were wowed by this goodwill gesture. Although police were called about customers in the store without employees, no crime was officially committed. Said Kingston police Constable Ash Gutheinz: “It’s rare anywhere. We’re pretty impressed with our citizens that they would be so honorable, honest, so as to leave a bunch of money for the groceries that they were taking.” One customer astutely noted, “That’s Canada for you.”
Food Basics was relieved to report that nobody took anything out of the store without paying or leaving a note the entire time it was unattended. The lady who just wanted to make a cake will receive a grocery gift card.