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If shoplifting food seems easy, it’s nothing compared to the snatching of clothing. Shop only the better stores. Try thing on in those neat secluded stalls. The less bulky items such as shirts, vests, belts and socks can be tied around your waist or leg with large rubber bands if needed. Just take a number of items in and come out with a few less.

In some cities there are still free stores left over from the flower power days. Churches often have give-away clothing programs. You can impersonate a clergyman and call one of the large clothing manufacturers in your area. They are usually willing to donate a case or two of shirts, trousers or underwear to your church raffle or drive to dress up skid row. Be sure to get your sizes. Tell them “your boy” will pick up the blessed donation and you’ll mention his company in the evening prayers.

If you notice people moving from an apartment or house, ask them if they’ll be leaving behind clothing. They usually abandon all sorts of items including food, furniture and books. Offer to help them carry out stuff if you can keep what they won’t be taking.

Make the rounds of a fancy neighborhood with a truck and some friends. Ring doorbells and tell the person who answers that you are collecting wearable clothing for the “poor homeless victims of the recent tidal wave in Quianto a small village in Saudi Arabia.” You get the pitch. Make it food and clothing, and say you’re with a group called Heartline for Decency. A phony letter from a church might help here.

The Salvation Army does this, and you can pick up clothes from them at very cheap prices. You can get a pair of snappy casual shoes for 25 cents in many bowling alleys by walking out with them on your feet. If you have to leave your shoes as a deposit, leave the most beat-up pair you can find.

Notice if your friends have lost or gained weight. A big change means a lot of clothes doing nothing but taking up closet space. Show up at dormitories when college is over for the summer or winter season. Go to the train or bus stations and tell them you left your raincoat, gloves or umbrella when you came into town. They’ll take you to a room with thousands of unclaimed items. Pick out what you like. While there, notice a neat suitcase or trunk and memorize the markings. Later a friend can claim the item. There will be loads of surprises in any suitcase. We have a close friend who inherited ten kilos of grass this way.

Large laundry and dry cleaning chains usually have thousands of items that have gone unclaimed. Manufacturers also have shirts, dresses and suits for rockbottom prices because of a crooked seam or other fuck-up. Stores have reduced rates on display models: Mannequins are mostly all size 40 for men and 10 for women. Size 7 1/2 is the standard display size for men’s shoes. If you are these sizes, you can get top styles for less than half price.

SANDALS

The Vietnamese and people throughout the Third World make a fantastically durable and comfortable pair of sandals out of rubber tires. They cut out a section of the outer tire (trace around the outside of the foot with a piece of chalk) which when trimmed forms the sole. Next 6 slits re made in the sole so the rubber straps can be criss-crossed and slid through the slits. The straps are made out of inner tubing. No nails are needed. If you have wide feet, use the new wide tread low profiles. For hard going, try radials. For best satisfaction and quality, steal the tires off a pig car or a government limousine.

Let’s face it, if you really are into beating the clothing problem, move to a warm climate and run around naked. Skin is absolutely free, and will always be in style. Speaking of style, the midi and the maxi have obvious advantages when it comes to shoplifting and transporting weapons or bombs.

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