The word brings to mind images of all things that are good and right with the world, but back when I was 9ish, I indulged in a crime spree that put the entire York, Michigan community on full alert. My gang of young toughs and I terrorized the local shopping mall strip for a good month or so depleting their stock of Hot Rod CARtoons magazines, sweets, Hot Wheels and most coveted of all, patches. The trick was (kids, take notes) to stuff whatever you could in your shirt (having a second jacket layer was a plus). You'd then purchase one item while you were on your way out to throw off any suspicion.
Shop owner- "Hmmmmm. It seems he's gained 30 pounds since entering my establishment. He's profusely sweating and his eyes are darting back and forth. Do you think he might be shoplifting? Wait!
He's buying a 2 cent stick of Bazooka gum. What an upstanding young man!"
One day, my pal (name withheld) was in front of me at the checkout. When he reached out to pay for the cheapest thing he had, like a slot machine that hit three cherries, dozens of patches shot out from the bottom of his down vest to the linoleum floor.
I immediately walked around the person I had never seen before in my life,
and exited the crime scene.
Later that evening my parents got a phone from the parents of Name Withheld. It seems, to get a lesser sentence, he had ratted out everyone he possibly could. My parents, who seems could do math, went around my room trying to figure out my possessions as they related to my allowance. I denied everything, but, breaking under pressure, I fessed up to swiping a single roll of Lifesavers. My punishment was to be driven to the candy shop to confess while Mom and Dad waited outside in our 1970 Opal GT. I left the car, shoulders slumped, feet dragging and entered the glass fronted store. Keeping my back to the floor to ceiling window, I placed the candy on the counter while the clerk was facing away ringing up a customer. When he turned to me, I said a casual "Hi" and left the store.
"How did it go?" my parents quizzed when I hopped in the back seat.
"Fine. He wasn't all that upset."