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11th Street South and a stolen candy bar . . .

At some point during the time I resided at the house on Eleventh Street South with my family—three older sisters and one older mother—I stole a Payday candy bar. Yep, I casually strolled into Mr. Fuqua’s corner grocery store at the opposite end of my block, cruised around pretending to shop and purloined a full-grown Payday, perhaps the most exotic and tastiest candy bar in existence both then and now, and casually strolled out of the store undetected.

I stuffed the Payday into my pocket while the proprietor was busy with a paying customer and exited the store. Calendar points—days, weeks, months and years have dimmed considerably over time, but I can say with confidence that I was either six or seven years old when I stole the Payday, an age that most would consider a bit early for one to begin a life of crime. I hasten to add that shortly after the theft, on the same day in which I committed the theft, I reluctantly but firmly renounced that life—read on for the details.

I researched the history of Payday candy bars in preparation for this posting and learned that the Payday candy bar and I were born in the same year, an amazing coincidence. We’ve both grown since that time, but in opposite directions—I’m considerably larger—Payday, conversely, is considerably smaller and considerably more expensive—for a brief history of the storied candy bar, click here: Can’t get enough peanuts? Try a PAYDAY Peanut Caramel Bar, with sweet caramel and tons of salty peanuts.

As was Macaulay Culkin, the child actor in the Home Alone movies, I was alone at home that day and thus free to roam at will. My roaming took me to the store and started me on a life of crime, albeit short-lived. On that day I became a criminal—small time and insignificant in the overall history of crime in the United States but a criminal nonetheless, a doer of a bad deed—a lawbreaker and a thief.

I’ll fast-forward and confess that after hiding the candy bar, still in its original wrapper, its sweet caramel and tons of salty peanuts untouched by fingers, lips, teeth or tongue—at least untouched while in my possession. In retrospect, I felt that if my theft was discovered I could return the item, virginal in every respect and thus avoid prosecution and subsequent incarceration. I probably planned to plead guilty and hope for probation and community service at some place other than grocery stores with extensive candy displays.

I hid my purloined Payday in several places in my house. Each seemed logical at first but doubt soon set in and the hiding place was changed—none was satisfactory. I briefly considered hiding it in our outdoor toilet, but wisely rejected that location. At one point it spent some time beneath a bush in the vacant lot across the street from my house, craftily hidden under dry leaves.

I finally returned the Payday candy bar, that concoction of sweet caramel and tons of salty peanuts, to its original display shelf in Mr. Fuqua’s corner store, its wrapper a bit wrinkled from its unauthorized and illegal sojourn and covered with my fingerprints but with its innards pristine, ready for sale to and consumption by anyone with the necessary nickel.

I would like to believe that the proprietor of that corner store, a long-time friend of my family, was aware of my criminal act—that he witnessed its departure from and its return to the candy shelf and decided to overlook the incident, to consider it insignificant in the greater scheme of things but resolving to keep a sharp lookout any time I entered the store in the future. If he did reason in that manner, it was a good choice—I never took another item from his establishment—I was tempted, but I never again succumbed to that temptation.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Oops, I forgot something—a few years later at some time during the conflagration of World War II, I rescued a turtle, a teeny tiny real live baby turtle with its one-inch-diameter shell sporting a painting of the American flag. I’ll save that story for a future posting, but as a teaser I’ll say that by my action I mercifully released the turtle from its display case in a five-and-ten-cent store, one of a chain that is now defunct. That little guy—or little girl, perhaps—such determination with turtles is quite difficult—lived a long and varied life following his—or her—release, rescued from and no longer subjected to the stares, giggles, anti-turtle comments and unlimited handling by untold numbers of an uncaring public. McLellan Stores were a 20th-century chain of five-and-dime stores in the United States. You can click here to read McLellan’s history.

The first image above shows the size of my turtle—no, that’s not my hand—I didn’t steal three turtles—I stole only one. The second image is a somewhat expensive representation of a turtle, size unknown—it’s available online for anyone with $995 to spare.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Declaration and covenant—dad and daughter . . .

Away back in 1995 my daughter, the one living at home at the time, slipped her bonds from her parents in San Antonio and migrated to Dallas to accept a position with a real estate corporation. She met a really nice guy and married him, and they now live near Dallas with their two children and a puppy. Before she left home I wrote the document below for her to sign—she never got around to signing it, but had she signed it she definitely would have compromised the conditions outlined in the covenant, and would have accepted and been subjected to the punishment outlined below.

I am posting this covenant to remind her of how far she has come, and to offer it to any father that may find himself in a similar position. I offer it freely, without need of recompense—just say thanks.

Declaration and Covenant

To any and all presents, to all who have gone before and to all who may come later, let it hereby, forthwith and forever be known that I, Kelley, being of sound mind (?) and body (!) and in no way under stress or duress on the part of any person or persons, known or unknown to me, living or otherwise, do hereby, hereon, herein and forever promise and swear that I will treat this magnificent sum of money (which is being tendered unto me by my omnipotent, beneficent, munificent and prescient ol’ pappy) in such manner that it will not hold itself at its present amount but that it will  increase under my administration, although it may from time to time be reduced in varying amounts for varying periods of time due to the many vagaries and exigencies of life, but it will then be restored to its original amount in the shortest length of time possible, but in no event later than one day following my next paycheck, said restoration to be accomplished by returning to the account (which I will establish) the amount withdrawn, plus an amount equal to ten percent of the amount withdrawn from the account, with the initial (and entire!) tendered amount of $500.00 to be placed in a Money Market account with Security Service Credit Union, San Antonio, Texas to draw interest at variable rates depending on the economy and to be maintained without charge to me provided my withdrawals  are limited to three or fewer per month, said withdrawals to be for nothing other than the purpose of paying just, legal and due (never overdue!) debts, and I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind in me whatsoever, that I am firmly determined to follow and perform everything to which I have promised and sworn, and if I fail to abide by the terms of this covenant I promise that I will, filled with remorse and shame and clad only in a smile, push a peanut with my nose from my father’s house to my sister’s house, a distance of one mile, repeating loudly all the way at 10-foot intervals (to be measured by my sister Debbie and witnessed by my friend Thelma) the phrase, “Pappy, you da most!”

So help me Hannah and keep me steadfast in due performance of all the above.

Signed __________________  Date ___________

Witness  ________________   Date ___________

An afterthought: Who would have thought it! Some folks actually push peanuts with their nose, as shown in this photo. I found no female peanut pusher photos, but I did find a competition that ended in crowning a king and a queen in a peanut pushing contest. Had my daughter acquiesced to the punishment outlined above, she may well have entered the book of Guinness World Records as the first naked woman to push a peanut with her nose, regardless of the distance involved.

Alas, fame is fleeting, and one should reach for the brass ring at every opportunity! The fellow pictured here pushed a peanut with his nose seven miles to #10 Downing Street in England to protest his student loan debt—I understand that he is now known as The student with no nose, and adding insult to injury, his protest was ignored by the Prime Minister of England.


 
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Posted by on May 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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