Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Caught Red-Handed

Welcome to the second installment of List Elaboration.

Topic for Today: Shoplifting
Also Filed Under: A Good Explanation For Why Roadchick Is The Way She Is

When Roadchick was a wee lass of about 3 or 4 years of age, she was taken to visit Santa Claus at a local department store. This was a visit that Roadchick looked forward to every year and she prepared very carefully so that she would know exactly what to say when asked if she had been a good girl and what would she like for Christmas.

When it was finally her turn, she approached the Great Man cautiously and was seated in his lap. All the questioning went as planned and Roadchick was given a candy cane and a coloring book with Rudolph on the cover. Happy and secure in the knowledge that a good Christmas was coming, Roadchick went home.

A few days later, Roadchick was taken back to the same store by her mother and left ( ! ) in the toy department to amuse herself while her mother completed her shopping. (Obviously this was in the days of small-town America when kidnappers and child molesters stayed in the big city and before parents knew better than to leave a TODDLER unattended in a toy department.) Roadchick was happily amusing herself looking at all the Christmas toys and trying out a few that were out of their boxes.

After a few minutes, Roadchick turned the corner and there was Santa's chair. But Santa was not in it. There was a sign with a clock on it, but since Roadchick couldn't read, she didn't know that it meant Santa was Feeding His Reindeer (but more likely Taking A Leak or Smoking A Cigarette). But, it was obvious - Santa Was Not In.

Roadchick approached cautiously. She knew that Santa had magic powers and might just *POP* up when least expected. She peeked behind the chair, but there was no Santa. But, Patient Reader, Santa had Left His Bag.

Roadchick, being a nosy little wench, decided to have a look inside. After all, there might be better things in the bag instead of a Rudolph coloring book, right? Like maybe her Christmas presents! So, completely forgetting the magical power business, she rummaged inside the bag. There were more coloring books inside as well as candy canes and little boxes of crayons. She had not gotten crayons. She also had not gotten the Elves Workshop coloring book that was infinitely more better than the stupid old Rudolph one that she HAD received. And the candy cane had been eaten in the car before ever arriving home.

So, ever one to look out for herself, Roadchick helped herself to a box of crayons, the Elves Workshop coloring book, and another candy cane or two. Then she went 'round the corner to the doll aisle and settled in to wait for her mother.

Mother arrived shortly thereafter and it did not escape her attention that Roadchick had quite a selection of Christmas merchandise that she had not had in her possession upon entering the store. She asked Roadchick about it.

Mother: Roadchick, what do you have there?

Roadchick: Look - a coloring book and crayons and a candy cane.

Mother: Where did you get those?

Roadchick: Um, Santa. Santa gave them to Roadchick.

Mother: (looking around the corner and seeing the Santa chair still empty as it was when they arrived at the toy department)

Mother: (tapping her foot and looking at Roadchick with that look)

Roadchick: (looking at the floor and shuffling her feet around and trying to hide the rest of the candy canes)

Mother: Roadchick, are you sure that Santa gave those to you?

Roadchick: Yes.

Mother: (penetrating stare)

Roadchick: (shuffling around even more and beginning to wonder if she is going to pee her pants)

Mother: Roadchick, Santa was not there when we got here and he is not there now. Did you take those things yourself?

Roadchick: Um, no. (Roadchick was not a very bright child)

Mother: Roadchick, I'm going to ask you one more time - did you take those things yourself?

Roadchick: But this is a better coloring book and look, crayons.

Mother: That is not what I asked you.

Roadchick: But . . .

Mother: (staring and tapping her foot)

Roadchick: (hanging her head)

Mother: I thought so. Well, this is a problem. You are going to have to take those things back to Santa and explain to him that you took them without permission.

Roadchick: (HORRIFIED, TERRIFIED look)

Roadchick: (starting to cry)

Y'all, imagine the situation. Not only was Roadchick caught stealing but she was caught stealing from Santa. She knew, in her little Catholic pre-schooler's heart that she was going straight to Hell - do not pass Go, do not collect $200.00. She was flat out terrified and probably peed on herself a little. Roadchick's mother was absolutely unforgiving and unrelenting and PENANCE WOULD BE DONE.

All too soon, Santa returned from Feeding His Reindeer and Roadchick's mother led her up to the chair. Santa looked at the sobbing Roadchick and Roadchick just cried harder. Roadchick's mother told Santa that Roadchick had something she needed to tell him.

Santa: (taking a slightly damp Roadchick on his lap) What is it, little girl?

Roadchick: (holding out her loot) Santa, Roadchick took these out of your bag and she's sorry

Roadchick: (crying hysterically, knowing that there would be No Christmas or maybe Coal and Switches)

Santa: (looking at the slightly crumpled coloring book and crayons and sticky candy canes)

Santa: Well, Roadchick, I think you know it was Wrong to go in Santa's bag without permission, don't you?

Roadchick: (nodding and sniveling and generally making a spectacle of herself)

Santa: As long as you promise Santa that you won't ever do it again, Santa will forgive you and forget all about it.

Roadchick: (relieved look) Th-thank you, Santa.

Santa: And for being such an honest little girl, you can keep those things. Can you smile for Santa?

Roadchick: (trying to smile and still sniveling)

Mother: No, I don't think that would be wise. It would be rewarding her for stealing. Roadchick, leave those things here.

Roadchick: (flying into hysterics again because in her terror of facing Santa, she had forgotten that she still had to Face Her Mother)

Roadchick: (leaving the coloring book, crayons, and candy canes behind and throwing a desperate look at Santa, hoping that he might send her to the North Pole instead of Home With Her Mother)

Y'all, it was a long, long ride home with her mother that afternoon. Let it be said that the entire experience left quite an Impression on Roadchick so that she was never quite so eager to take something that wasn't hers again. And Santa? Well, he lied. It was not forgotten and there was a noticable . . . decrease in gifts from the North Pole that year.

Let it be a lesson to you, kids. Don't tug on Superman's cape, don't spit into the wind - don't steal coloring books from Old St. Nick and you don't mess around with Mom.


Kim G. said...

Man - I think I love your mom! She's my new hero. Harsh as she was, what a great job she did. :)

Pacian said...

My heart is broken into teeny pieces now. Little Roadchick was such a cute little blighter...


*wanders off to find some sticky tape and piece it back together*

yak attack said...

Your mom rocks! Poor little Roadchick learned the lesson of a lifetime. Well done!

tinker said...

Aww! Sniff..
But mom knew best...because look at how cool Roadchick turned out!

Mystic Wing said...

Great post. YOu have wonderful voice and very nice style.

paris parfait said...

What an adorable story! Very entertaining (looked at from a distance of space and time).

Autrice DelDrago said...

The Chick has once again captured my imagination and delighted me!

Well done, Mistress of the Third Person.

twilightspider said...

What a fantastic world you let us into - sometimes doing the right thing sure doesn't feel as good as doing the wrong thing! I love your irreverant style.