something to honk about
I entered a life of crime when I was six years old. I’m ashamed to say I brought my sister in too, and she was only four.
Here’s what happened. My mom took us shopping to a store called Ideal Stationers, as in stationery. (Side note, those are weird words – stationers and stationery. Why is it called that? Hmm, according to Wikipedia stationery was sold by a stationer who’s name indicated that the shop was in a fixed location as opposed to most medieval trading which was done by peddlers.) Anyway, my mom was shopping for who knows what, and my four year old sister and I were looking at trinkets displayed on a low shelf. Right there at kid level.
The item that really caught our eye was a cup full of clear plastic red dice. Who knows why it was this and not something else, but it was these shiny red dice that we decided we wanted. We asked our mom if she would buy them for us. Probably in little plaintive, possibly whiny, little girl voices. And she said no.
That could have been the end of it. But it wasn’t. Not for me. I had decided I really, really wanted one of those clear red plastic dice and darn it, I was going to have one. So I put one in my pocket and told my sister to do the same. She was the good sister and I was not, but she was only four so she did it.
My mom had no idea. She was busy shopping.
Then we went home and I played with my pretty clear red plastic dice on my top bunk bed and then stuck it back in my pocket and forgot about it completely. Along with my garment, that pocket and that dice ended up in the laundry bin. Days later when my mom went to empty the pockets and do the wash she found it. And she remembered where it was from. And she was not pleased.
She took us back to Ideal Stationers and marched us up the front counter. Being the big sister, and having admitted that it was my fault, I had to give back both pretty red dice and apologize to the clerk. I was mortified. Of course, I didn’t know it then. What six year old kid would describe their emotional state as “mortified’? But looking back on now, I’m sure that’s exactly what I was.
My obvious incompetence at thievery should have put a permanent end to my life of crime. Instead, I merely put it on hold so I could hone my skills and take it up again as a teenager.