I remember the first time I stole something. I can’t recall the specific details like the day (probably a Thursday afternoon), the time (probably after school), or the place (a random convenience store). What I do remember was it was the day I became a petty criminal. Scum of the Earth. Garbage. I was probably 7 or 8 years old, but was looking at life in a pound-me-in-the-ass prison. Call the lawyer. 25 to life. I remember wandering around the store with my mother. I trailed closely behind her as we walked down the candy isle. Don’t get me wrong. I was raised that stealing was wrong, but this theft was entirely out of SPITE. I walked over to where the Laffy Taffy’s were and it was like I was in paradise. I think it was around this time I was infatuated with Willy Wonka as well so all the candy I opened was in hopes of a trip to the Chocolate Factory. Not to mention, Laffy Taffy’s have ‘Wonka’ written all over them. Imagine my mother watching my every move. She watched me as I exploded in excitement looking at all the different candies. Holding a banana Laffy Taffy to my chest, I squealed “Can I have one please?” Before I could even finish my sentence she roared “NOOOooOOO muhahahahahh!” Picture her then jumping on the cart and riding down the isle while laughing like a maniac. I was so angry. Enough was enough. It was time to get even. As she turned and continued down the isle, I took what I had asked for. BANANA LAFFY TAFFY. DON’T MIND IF I DO! I remember wandering through the store with the candy in my pocket. Paranoid Terrified. I thought everyone was on to me. I pictured a room full of monitors and a team of people in suits watching. However, some time passed and no one approached me. No one knew. We got to the register and paid for our items. I hesitated for a second as we began to walk past the metal door sensors. Imagine when a dog puts the breaks on (cause they don’t wanna go to the vet) and you have to push them across the floor. That was me. I anticipated the sensors to explode with lights and sirens and scream THIS GUYS GOT THE LAFFY TAFFY. But they didn’t. As I walked through them, nothing happened. Nothing at all. VICTORY! It was the feeling you get when you cross the finish line. I did it! We made our way out to the parking lot and into the truck.
Being an impatient child and just being a child in general, I couldn’t wait to open my prize. I pulled it out of my pocket and began to peel at the wrapper while she started to reverse. BREAKS. The truck (a red Jeep Cherokee) came to a complete stop while it felt like time did as well. I saw her eyes in the rear view mirror. They were like glistening daggers. “What’s going on back there? What are you opening?” She turned and saw the laffy taffy in my hand. The jig was up. If I was being interrogated I would have given up everybody right then and there. Just to end horrible feeling. Put me in witness protection and change my name to Victor Schvitzer. She jumped out of the car and opened the back door. Picture the door just coming right off the hinges and flying into the street. Might as well have. “Let’s go.” She made me go back into the store and confess to my sins. A lesson learned the hard way. I felt like the entire store was judging me as I confessed. They all shook their heads. They all had hats on. I was so embarrassed. Once we got home she told me to go right to my room. GROUNDED. I went into my room, closed my door, and slowly pulled out the other banana Laffy Taffy I had in my pocket. DON’T MIND IF I DO!