Sunday, June 11, 2006

95. Found a Peanut...

Did I ever tell you about the time I stole something?

Shoplifting is a better word for it, but my career in trafficking ill-gained goods happens to be a great story. I was three (3) years old. I may have been four (4) but I think it happened when I was three (3); it's hard to remember.

Ramblimom was at the grocery store shopping, with me in tow, and was busy gathering the goods that would feed the family for the next week. I was short enough not to be able to see what was on the tables, but tall enough to reach up and reach over the lip on the table and feel the great mound of yummy salted peanuts they were selling.

So I took one.

I jammed it in the pocket of my tan, elastic-waisted, corduroy Tuffskins to save for later. I contemplated all the things I could do with my peanut when I arrived home as we snaked our way through the store gathering. (Ramblimom was a great gatherer, a hunter--not so much.)

When we got home, I went to my bedroom to consume the booty from my dishonorable escapades. Peanuts are very hard to open I found out. So what did I do? I went to ask ramblimom if she would open the peanut so I could enjoy its salty goodness.

"Where did you get that?!?" she shrieked.

"At the store" I answered.

"[I don't remember what she said here, but she was MAD.]"

Ramblimom announced we were going back to the store so I could pay for my peanut. She handed me my small jar of spending money (a percentage of my meager allowance) and we marched straight to the store so I could pay for the peanut.

When we arrived empty-handed at the checkout counter, ramblimom told the store owner (who may have been just a checker) I wanted to pay for the peanut I had stolen:

"My stupid son, stupidramblings, wants to pay for the peanut he stole when we were here earlier."

"Oh, it's alri--"

[What cut him off could only have been a dirty look from ramblimom.]

[Sternly] "One peanut costs one penny."

[Another dirty look from ramblimom.]

"...and a dime."

I fished the money from my money jar and handed it to the man. To tell the truth, however, I was more traumatized about giving up the penny than the dime. Dimes are smaller. I handed him the money, making my ill-gotten gain a hard lesson in monetary honesty. I was so ashamed.

When he took the money, he gave me a dirty look and said, "Now never, never steal again."

And I haven't.


daltongirl said...

My career as a petty criminal has turned out a little better than yours. When we went to SONICVISION (step aside, Laser Floyd) the other night in Chicago, the nice clerk asked me if any of my kids were students. Forgetting for a second that daltonman had graduated from high school eight days earlier and was no longer a student, I said they all were. And I got two dollars off for each kid. A little while later I realized my mistake and went back to try and rectify the situation. Fortunately for me, my mom was not there to glare at the clerk. She said, "Wait. You WANT to pay the adult price?" I said, "Well, not really. I'm just telling you that I wasn't completely honest with you, and you can charge me the extra two bucks if you need to." She looked at me like I was insane. "Consider it a graduation present," she said. And then I hoped she told the other clerk about it, because he was asking us about Utah and Mormons and stuff a little.

Moral: Stealing stuff is a missionary tool.

Nemesis said...

When I was 6 I stole a cheap butterfly necklace from my friend's house and then made up this huge rambling story to my mother about how my teacher had given it to me because I had the highest score on my spelling test, and how I tied with another girl though and that girl got a necklace too that was the same as mine but a different color.

So yeah. I steal and lie, and am equally rubbish at both.