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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Childhood Flashbacks: Silly Putty

I was watching a re-run of "Charlie" a/k/a "Two and a Half Men" the other night and they aired the episode where Charlie frames Allen for stealing Silly Putty.  Apparently, Charlie slipped it into Allen's pants pocket unbeknownst to Allen.  Allen gets busted and grows up forever thinking he had an alter ego, "Bad Allen," as he had no recollection of actually stealing the Silly Putty.
This reminded me of my first encounter with thievery.  Yes, as a child, there were one or two others -- please don't shame me.  I knew better but times were so tough.  I've made my peace with God, so if you have to pass judgement, please take it elsewhere.  :-) 
Anyhow, this one particular time I'm guessing I was three or four? I wasn't a typical child.  I had to grow up more quickly than most and was speaking before most and reading before most also.  So, it would not be surprising for me to have been three with the mentality of a four year old.
Mom and I had entered a local pharmacy type store.  I remember the toys (up front, of course) and Silly Putty.  Sweet Febreeze, had I been wanting Silly Putty!  It was the new thing advertised at the time.  Of course, when I asked my Mom she said "NO."  a) We can't afford it, b) I didn't need it.  Pblblblt!
So, I just stood there looking at the Silly Putty while she went elsewhere in the store.  Yes, these were still the days when a parent could still let their child play in the toy isle while looking elsewhere.  And, it was a small store, like CVS or Walgreens.
So, somehow, my fingers so enticed to touch the Silly Putty, convinced my brain that it would be Okay just to take it out of the package and feel it.  That wasn't stealing.  No harm done.  I can't fully remember, like Bad Allen (Ha ha!), exactly but somehow I ended up with the Silly Putty locked tightly in my fist when Mom returned to get me and exit the store.  I don't recall if I was fearful she would see I'd opened the package or if I was really wanting to take it. ;-?
Anyhow, we exited the store and the red little egg was still gripped every so tightly in my little fist.  I couldn't figure out what to do.  Where could I put it.  Mom was not going to be happy.  I did NOT want to be in trouble or receive physical discipline. (Who ever does, right?)
So, I kept running up ahead of her on the walk way and suddenly it hit me!  What if I foooouuuund the Silly Putty!  How convenient, right?  Okay.  So that'll be my story.  So, I ran up ahead and surprised myself at finding a little red Silly Putty egg.  Yay for me!  "Look what I found Mom!"  The luck, since I was just wanting some Silly Putty!
Mom inquired with suspicious eyes.  "Is it empty?  Or, is there actually Silly Putty in it." Hmmmm.  I'm thinking this sounds like a trick question so I answer with the unlikely, "No, it's empty.  It's just the egg."  Mom, seems to accept this.
When we get home I proceed to head to the restroom as I "Need to go."  The color funnies from the News Paper somehow end up in there with me.  I recall sitting perched on the potty attending to business and trying to capture cartoons on the Silly Putty.  GASP!  Mom walks in and bust me!
"I knew there was Silly Putty in there Rochelle!"  That's my middle name and she referred to my by it when in trouble.  That and , "Dammit Rochelle!"  I swear, I was a really, REALLY good kid.
Anyhow, she proceeds with the discipline process and we head back to the store so that I can return the Silly Putty and speak to the manager to apologize.  Humiliating it was, because, I always had a conscience.  And, I strived on approval and being the "bad" kid done wrong did not sit well with me at all.
The manager was nice.  He agreed the police would not need to be involved.  He took back the Putty and gave me the stern little lecture.  Though, I could see in his eyes he both wanted to laugh and felt bad for me at the same time.  I can almost promise that if he weren't currently challenged with teaching me my lesson, he would have given me the Putty.
Anyhow, there it is.  I've confessed.  My career in thievery was over shortly after it began.  With maybe one other little stint.  My Mom was so amazed at how I could stretch five dollars!  But that was then.
Now, I'm thief free.  And, the last time I used Silly Putty?  It was paid for.  And, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.  
Happy Tuesday!



Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

sigh, I stole a pencil from the people next door when I was six, there were phone calls, I was sent to return the pencil and suffer the shame and the, as you put it, physical punishment....good thing you and I went through that, I think, and felt the way we did, because it made you a good and honest person. And me too!

Prohomemaker.Com said...

Great story! Loved it. I was never a thief, I would just make up stories because life was pretty dull in suburbia otherwise. I got the "little boy who cried wolf" speech one time for sure -- and it was a "sit down and listen" speech. But still didn't take. Final straw that cured me: Ran inside and told my Mom the house across the street was on fire. She didn't believe me, and it was -- and the old lady died in the fire. From then on, I have a huge aversion to lying. And there is my confession. :-)

jezdez said...

Hey you. Well, I did too snag something from the local mom & pop store, but can't think of what it was! Probably candy. It was easy not to get caught cuz all the guys that worked there thought I was so cute, and so did the owner! And, my parents were working all the time in the summer and we were stay at home kids. Eventually, I just stopped. There I confessed too! Dang, FW, bringing up too many not so good memories!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA. That's awesome. Once I got in trouble for plucking a grape off it's bunch and eating it at the grocery store. My mom yelled "THAT'S STEALING, EMMELINE!" I was so afraid the police would come for me. It was horrifying.


Anonymous said...

Well written, FW.

I'm curious, do you think you didn't enjoy the paid-for Silly Putty because of your prior experience? Like, maybe you couldn't really enjoy it because of your yucky memories?
Just wondering...

Jennybean said...

psst... Interview....

and I wil interview you, but I don't have an email to send the questions to....

great story by the way... havn't we all done something similar?

Knight said...

Isn't three or four a little young to be accusing the kid? I'm sorry you had to grow up so fast. The last three year old I was in a store with was trying to walk out with anything in reach. It was my job to make sure he didn't take anything.

Krishna said...

I never knew you had it in you. Remember, like mother, like daughter so keep you eyes open! LOLOL

WPMomOf2 (jen) said...

Just have to say hubby and I LOVE Two and a Half Men!!!!

Debbie Yost said...

Two stories come to mind. When I was a kid I stole milk (it cost 4 cents back then) Guilt got to me so a couple days later I snuck four cents into the milk money box.

When I was in 3rd grade I forgot to bring something home for my mom to sign. I told her I could just sign it and she said no, but I was convinced I could do it. Mom has a very unique cursive writing. I had her signature from something else so I tried to trace it. My teacher was NOT fooled and sent a not home to my mom. Boy did I ever get in trouble for that one!