Suzanne McClendon’s September Challenge is comprised of 30 questions (one for each day of this month) regarding your background and history. Her challenge is based on Kenny Chesney’s song “Back Where I Come From.” I’m not a country music fan, so I wasn’t familiar with Chesney’s song, but I thought it might be a fun challenge to join. My responses to the first 11 questions are all here in this one post, should you be interested in going back to where I came from.
Day 12: On the opposite side of the fence [from the Day 11 prompt about churches], did you know of anyone engaged in an illegal activity?
Here’s a newsflash. Teenagers do stupid things. I guess I was no exception. My best friend Jeff always seemed to have neat stuff. He didn’t have a job, his parents didn’t have a whole lot of money, and, like me, his allowance was one dollar a week. So how did he have all that neat stuff?
Jeff was always strangely evasive about how he came by all his stuff, so I pressed him and he finally confessed. “I shoplift,” he said. And then he invited me to join him. And I did join him. Stupid, right?
So there we were, two teenage boys walking around the mall with large shopping bags into which we had thrown items we grabbed off the shelves of various stores. I don’t even remember what we had gathered, but once satisfied that we had enough cool stuff, we left the mall.
That’s when we were nabbed by a large security guard. He literally dragged us to the mall’s security office, where we faced the mall manager. He asked for our parents’ phone numbers and called both Jeff’s and my mothers to let them know we’d been caught shoplifting. Apparently our moms were good negotiators and persuaded the man to let us go.
“You know that shoplifting is illegal, boys,” he said. “I’m going to let you go this time, but make sure you don’t disobey the law again or you’ll be in big, big trouble.”
Jeff’s mom came to the mall to pick us up and drive us home. We were each grounded for two weeks.
And, of course, I never, ever disobeyed the law again.
Did you see what I did. I incorporated today’s one-word prompt, “disobey” into my response to Suzanne’s September Challenge. Ingenious, right?