I’d like to make it clear that, as a rule, we do not hold the Artful Dodger or Fagin in high regard in my house. We do not concur with the ethos that you “have to pick a pocket or two” to make it in this world and, with this is mind, we do our best, Karen and me, to instill good manners, the twin virtues of honesty and integrity and an all encompassing high moral outlook into our children so that they may one day bloom into fine, upstanding citizens of the future global community.
So it was a shock to find out that one of them is, by nature, a shoplifter.
We’d nipped into town on Saturday afternoon to run a few boring errands. These lasted a mere hour but seemed interminably forever to Ben and Tom so on the way back to the car we elected to nip into a neat little newsagent en route to purchase some sweetie treats for us all.
Tom was completely ensconced in his pushchair by this point, with the clear plastic rain cover fastened down tight over him to protect him from the lashings of a particularly vicious rain shower.
We were no more than 2 minutes in the shop. Just enough time for me to buy four packets of Cadbury’s Giant Chocolate Buttons (I heartily recommend them for a mid afternoon snack) and clear the moths out of my wallet to pay for them.
We then headed back to the car with our well-gotten gains...
...only to find when we extricated Tom from his little plastic bubble that the little monkey had somehow unfastened one side of the cover and had managed to half-inch a huge birthday badge from the newsagent without either them or us noticing. He’d also managed to remove it from its cardboard packaging and undo the safety pin at the back.
The badge – an ironic comment I’m sure on his father’s approaching 40th birthday in 2 week’s time – read in large bold letters: HAPPY 80th!
We weren’t sure whether to laugh or... well, not cry exactly, but at the very least give Tom the “angry face”. As it was we really didn’t have the heart to do the latter. He looked far too cute and innocent to be flogged for the sake of a £1.39 badge.
And I’m afraid we also failed in our civic duty to return the badge to the premises from which it was so illegally wrested and restore our previously unblemished characters. We were too knackered and far too wet and just wanted to return home as quickly as possible.
So Tom got his chocolate without a frown and the badge was shoved into a drawer that has now been enshrined as “Tom’s First Haul”.
Next week we’re taking him to the bank to see how he gets on with the ATM’s and possibly visiting a high class jeweller afterwards.
All being well when I next blog to you all I shall be doing so from a plush apartment in St Moritz.
Why should we break our backs
Stupidly paying tax?
Better get some untaxed income
Better to pick-a-pocket or two...
I love a good musical, me.