The Wal Mart Law of Probability

“My trash can got stolen five times. Finally the owner just let me have it.  Jarod Kintz

A recent visit to our local Wal-Mart got me to thinking about the law of Probability. So…………did some research on the Net and voila…………….discovered a veritable cornucopia of info on the subject.

The probability of an event is a non-negative real number:

P(E) = R^P(E) >0    AE=F

Where F is the event space and E is any event in F. In particular, P(E) is always finite.

Whatever. That was one formula. There were others, none of which I really understood. And then, at the very bottom of the list, there was a formula I could understand.

The Wal-Mart law of probability:


Where P = Probability of a theft and F = Wal Mart store space and I = Human

Allow me to explain:

In this illustration

A=Shopper checking out

B=Wal Mart greeter/security/FBI

C=Distance between A & B. In this case 20 feet.

Scenario: Shopper A, a 69-year-old male, has completed an hour of shopping and has finished checking out with his $100 worth of stuff. Inquisitor B watches as A begins to push his cart towards the entrance.

“Could I see your receipt please?”


“We’ve had problems with theft!”

“So????? I just paid for these things 5 seconds ago right over there. You saw me do it.”

“Still. Could I just see your receipt please?”

“What????? You think I could have stolen something between the cashier and here? You can’t be serious.”

“We’ve had problems. Could I see your receipt please!!!”

“Look………..Nothing against you. I know you are just doing your job, but this is insulting. You make me feel dirty.”



“Thank you. Have a good day.”

“You just looked at my receipt and nothing else. What did you learn?”

“Was lookin for electronics.”

“But you didn’t even look in the bags. I could have a corpse or all kinds of stolen merchandise in there and you wouldn’t know.”

“We’ve had problems.”


So you see folks…….the Wal Mart law of probability is actually an absolute. If one sets foot in a Wal Mart, one WILL steal something. It is the responsibility of the Greeter/Security/FBI to make sure it is not a 52 inch plasma flat screen.

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”  Aesop

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4 Responses to The Wal Mart Law of Probability

  1. I wonder what they tell those people in training. “Take the receipt, and make it look like you are really reading the words and matching the items with the things in the bag.”

    If I was going to steal something, I would stick it in my pants or in my bra. How are they going to figure that one out? I guess I better keep my mouth shut, though. I don’t want them to start frisking me after the shopping trip.


    • Texas Heat says:

      Hi Clotilda…..good to hear from you again. I read your blog daily.

      Anyway, listen to this. I went back to that Wal Mart (Floresville, TX) the other day and that same woman was manning the door and doing the same thing. But at the other door there was no one. You could just walk out the door with whatever. This pissed me off. I got the manager and told him what I thought about having a Nazi at the door. I then asked him why there wasn’t one at the other door. He said they only had one door guard. So it was ok to steal out of the south door but not the north door. I’m so sick of Wal Mart. Next time I go there (for prescriptions only) I’m going ignore that Nazi and saunter out the door.


  2. Eric says:

    LOL… I always walk away from the ticket reciept lady. They cant do nothing about it when you just keep walking,lol…


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