When I was a youngster, I was almost always broke as a fool. Sometimes I had a paper route and that would land me a buck or two. Or, if times were good, I would get a dollar for an allowance. Still, I rarely carried any money and was more likely to be carrying food stamps than green backs.
One Christmas when I was about 14, someone, somewhere gave me $20. I can’t remember who it was but they had obviously confused me with some other child. Still, I was thrilled to death to be rolling in cash and proudly carried my twenty with me…everywhere.
When we returned to school from Christmas break, I was still flashing my $20 to anyone that was willing to look at it. Somehow, this $20 bill was giving me the kind of self esteem I so desperately lacked. I finally broke the $20 on a Hostess apple pie. (Possibly one of the greatest foods ever made). While I was now down 50 cents, I actually had more bills to flash around! This was awesome.
Awesome until 3 enterprising young men decided they needed to relieve me of the burden of carrying this cash. As two approached me from the front, one circled around behind me. The two stopped right in front of me and started up some small talk. This was odd since I didn’t usually attract this kind of attention. Before I knew it, the kid behind me had snatched my wallet from my back pocket.
He immediately opened it and took the wad of cash I had in it. The three started laughing and started to walk away. I pleaded, “Can I at least have my wallet back? My school ID is in there”. One of the nice young men then flipped me my empty wallet.
Or so he thought. You see, my dad had taught me about the “secret compartment” each wallet holds. This is where I had hidden the $10 bill left over from my change. So, in spite of losing the battle, I had in fact won the war! (Ok, not really, I was still out the 9 bucks. Plus, they had pretty much emotionally bitch slapped me and I did nothing).
The lesson to be learned? Always walk backwards. That way, the criminals can’t sneak up on you. (In the movie version of this story, I am going to have Chuck Norris show up and kick their collective a**es).