As I understand it, this was a common malady, though I don’t recall any of my friends being afflicted with it. I don’t remember the circumstances surrounding my first heist, but I certainly remember those of my last.
I started out with the small stuff – little green and red plastic bingo markers that probably sold for a dime a bag at Kresge’s or Woolworth’s. I moved up in short order to index cards, the easily concealable 3 x 5 inch variety. You might wonder why would a 12-year-old boy want a stash of bingo markers and index cards? Good question. I have no answer. It apparently was more for the thrill than the stuff.
My undoing came when I wandered into a Safeway store with a couple of friends on our way home after school. Expanding my repertoire to include candy bars was an unwise decision. I was nabbed at the door while my innocent friends slipped away undeterred.
The short lecture I received in the manager’s office was powerfully effective. I was scared straight. I caught up with my friends who asked, “What was that all about?” I muttered something about being a witness to a shoplifting. Just doing my civic duty. I doubt that they bought it.
Truth is, most of us have either been lawbreakers ourselves or have relatives who were. Think of buying or using alcohol or cigarettes illegally, using a fake ID to do something otherwise prohibited, speeding or fudging on taxes.
Some of us have more notable lawbreakers in our family’s past. In recent years I have heard stories of a great grandparent who may have served time for murder. There may be others who have committed illegal acts that I am unaware of.
What about your family?
Writing prompt for the day: How do you handle difficult subjects in your family history? Are you asking the right questions?
Flickr photo courtesy of stevechasmar.