Archive for June, 2012

Not quite a battle of wits

June 6, 2012 Leave a comment

I grew up in Spokane, Wash. in a neighborhood that gets made fun of all the time. Hillyard was the butt of many jokes. (In spite of this, I still love Spokane and miss living there.) I felt safe in my neighborhood even though there was crime going on around me. Really, looking back at my younger years, I only can remember one bad incident.

Behind our house, we had a garage. It wasn’t in very good shape and had lots of junk in it. There were two things I loved about the garage. First, a friend helped me build a basketball hoop to put on the back (thanks Dave!). I spent many hours shooting hoops on it, in the rain or shine. The second thing that I loved about the garage is that my dad didn’t use it and he let my brother and I play in it.

One summer we decided that we, along with some friends, would make it into our kind of clubhouse. We moved most of the junk into a small side room. We then cleaned up the main part and “fixed it up.” This consisted mostly of a few old posters, some old chairs, and a radio. We didn’t have many options on the radio. I had a small AM/FM headphone radio that I had received as a gift. I had some small speakers that I could hook up to it. So we put it in the garage and voila…music!

Would you believe that someone is selling on eBay the exact model of the radio I had? I couldn’t, but here it is!!!

One of the things we did in our garage was work on our bicycles. We would take them apart and put them back together and think we were fixing them. Some of the kids in our neighborhood would bring their bikes by and we would tinker around with them. It was fun and kept us out of any real trouble.

One morning I went in the garage and realized that something was missing…my radio. I cannot express the sadness that I felt. The realization that someone had taken it was so hard on me. I had never really had anything stolen from me and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to tell my parents about it, since it was stupid of me to leave it in an unlocked garage overnight.

Later that day, I was talking to one of my friends and he told me that some kids about five blocks away had my radio and that they were trying to sell it. I didn’t know them, but my friend told me right where they lived. I decided to ride my bike over and see if I could get it back.

I am both proud and embarrassed at what I did next. I told them that I wanted to buy it, but I didn’t have any money with me (which was true). I said I would ride home and get the $5 that they wanted for the radio, but I wanted to take the radio with me. I don’t know why they agreed to this, but they did. I rode home as fast as my legs would take me. I looked over my shoulder plenty, but I wasn’t followed. Since I didn’t know these kids, and they didn’t know me, I felt that I was safe. I stole my radio back!

Now, I am not proud of the fact that I lied and stole, but I was very excited that I had found a way to get my radio back. It didn’t cost me anything. And I figured that they had stolen it from me, so I just took back what was rightfully mine. Disclaimer to my kids…it isn’t right to lie or steal, even if you get back something from the losers who stole from you.

I learned a few things that day. 1. Don’t leave anything you care about in an unlocked garage. 2. I am pretty good at bluffing people. 3. I can ride a bike pretty fast with proper motivation. 4. People will take your stuff, even if it isn’t worth much. (A side note…my 89 Honda Accord was stolen in 2011 and it wasn’t worth much when they took it and was worth much less when I got it back.)

And that is my life of crime when I stole back what was stolen from me. It wasn’t quite a battle of wits (like you can find in one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride), but I felt that I outwitted them.

Categories: About Me, Just for Fun, Spokane