The Royal Farms story


When the police finally removed my ex from my apartment …

… she took along a credit card I had not known I had.

I did not find out until I started getting overdraft notices from the bank in the snail.  At that time, there was no internet.  I would get one or more each day.  During this phase, every pack of smokes I bought cost me $40:  $5 for the smokes, and $35 for the overdraft penalty.  My card never was declined until I was overdrawn in excess of $500.

What had she been doing with the card?

Didn’t find that out until the hard copy of my statement came, also by snail.

She had been going to the Royal Farms on Fleet Street, where I’ve never been, and buying cartons of cigarettes by the armload.  She would buy 10 or 12 cartons at a time.

She then would sell the cigarettes individually — I’d never yet heard of “loose ones,” and so have no idea what they cost in those days, but you can make a good living in that market — or sell the packs at a steeply reduced price.  Of course, for her, it was all sheer profit.  She had bought them with my money.

The police came to see me at my job, and asked me to identify her from a “photo lineup,” mug shots of, in this case, half a dozen AA women.  There she was.  Wearing my sweater.

She had been arrested sometime while staying with me, an event I never learned about until that day, and wore my sweater in the mug shot.

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