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Monday, August 25, 2014

THOU SHALT NOT STEAL - a cranky re-run

This week's cranky re-run is from August 2011
Fifty two years ago I committed a crime.  My mother and father were scrupulously honest, I was raised to be the same, and yet I committed a crime.  At thirteen years old, I shoplifted a 35 cent Duncan yoyo from JJ Newberry’s on the miracle mile in Manhasset, Long Island.

I don’t know why I stole the yoyo.  I had the 35 cents to buy it.  Money was not an issue.  I was not even a yoyo type of kid.  I think it was just a rite of passage kind of thing.

My friends all bragged about lifting stuff.  I guess even though I knew it was wrong I had to be part of the crowd.  So one day I loitered around the toy section, looked over my shoulder several times and when the coast was clear I stuffed the yoyo in my pocket.  I then walked slowly and not so calmly up to the main floor and out the door.

Except for once or twice, I never really even used the yoyo.  Its existence brought me nothing but shame and guilt.  I never even told anyone that I shoplifted; so much for being part of the crowd.  I never stole again.

JJ Newberry’s, the “Target” of the 1950’s, was purchased by McCrory’s in 1961 and eventually went out of business.  I know I am not at fault for its demise, but I do owe someone 35 cents, or with interest maybe $5.50.  It is beyond the statute of limitations for my crime, but if someone can tell me who is entitled to my $5.50 I am prepared to make restitution.

We are all induced to try so many things in our march to become a fully developed human being; drugs, alcohol, tobacco, unprotected sex, shoplifting, cheating in school, vandalism and worse.  Sometimes, before that part of the brain which factors in consequences to our actions is fully developed, we succumb to temptations.  

What did you get away with that could have altered your life.  What did you do that makes you feel guilty even today?  Come on, let it out.  I won’t tell anyone.    


  1. Oh. (sucks in a breath through his teeth) Nothing I'd dare put into print. Ever.
    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  2. If I tell you then I won't have gotten away with it. To my grave.

  3. Too much to list.
    But I have done decent things too, so In my little head it all evens out.

  4. First thanks for the memory. I miss McCroys! This I guess is more of a confessional more than it is guilt. It was 1966 I was 3 y/o and heisted a candy bar from the corner candy shop while mama was talking with her Chatty Cathy friends. Walking home I bit into that York Peppermint Patty and started spitting it and told mama I wished I hadn't taken that one. Boy was she mad. She marched me back there, made me apologize to the store owners and then paddled my pants good. I have never taken anything since and for some reason cannot stand to even smell a York Peppermint Patty.

  5. I stole a bag of chocolate chips when I was little. It was in our cabinet mind you but they were special because we couldn't get them in Europe at the time. I went and confessed to my mother in the middle of the night because I felt so guilty. I'm glad I did or who knows what I would be stealing now. Maybe even yoyo's or something. Whew that was a close one. :)

  6. when i was about 4, i stuck a sugared blue gumball in my winter coat pocket from the tiny store in town. i took it out later to chew it, all covered in pocket lint and stuff from my mitten. my sis and brother were there and told me i was going to go to jail for stealing. i didn't shoplift ever again. now, i've pilfered office supplies from my workplace, though.

  7. The statue of limitations hasn't run out on mine so I'll just pass on answering your question.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  8. When I was a kid I stole a comic book from the Barber shop my dad took me to for a haircut. My dad saw it made me return it. He also made me tell the shop owner I was a thief. I never stole anything again.

  9. That stone is going to remain unturned. But let the record show that I was not even a child thief.

  10. My most recent is not accepting that people can have viewpoints different than mine and be valid; in perceiving that things they say in jest or irony are other than that. A fault I'm trying to correct.
    Oh, and feeling the poppa bear instint to defend their young, when they should take their chances along with the rest of us.

  11. Oh gosh, I would be way too embarrassed to say anything in such a public forum. I think for your restitution, you should buy a few yoyo's or something similar and donate them for the annual Toys for Tots toy drive :)


  12. I stole a cheap ID type bracelet from a variety store when I was twelve, I think it was valued at about one shilling and sixpence, this was before we switched to dollars and cents in 1966, the equivalent I suppose would be about 15 cents. I wore it to the local swimming pool and it slipped off my wrist and was lost in the water. I was relieved when it was no longer in my possession.

  13. Eh, I once stole a whopper at Burger King instead of dumping it in the waste bin. Other than that, every so often I let the inspection lapse on a car or two but that's as thrilling as I gets.


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