Thursday 27 May 2021

Close the Circle


When I was seven or eight, I was caught trying to steal something in a Zellers store. I really can’t remember what I was trying to steal, I want to say pens, but I seem to remember that ball point pens were just getting popular and it seems to me that I didn’t get to use one until grade seven or eight. I could be wrong about the pens, but I was caught stealing from Zellers.


You would think that the store would call my parents to come and get me and the adults would deal with any apologies or compensation that was needed. The store did call my parents and the police. At the time, Zellers had a zero tolerance policy toward shoplifting and ANYONE caught was charged and taken to court. Suffice to say that I was punished at home and after my bum lost the redness the whole incident drifted away from me as serious things do with little children.


Some time later, I found out that I would be getting a day off school. It wasn’t a fun day off, it was so that I could appear in Family Court with my dad. I can still remember that drive down the Don Valley Parkway and we turned off at what I now know was the Bayview Ave ramp. Little Kenny had never driven there before so it stuck in my mind. I also remember crying because at some point I realized that dad had to take a day off of work and it was because I was a bad boy.


I don’t really remember anything about the courtroom, but I am sure there was crying involved and now I know that dad probably was treated as s bad parent because his child was a common criminal.


I am so sorry dad!


The one positive that came from that incident is that for most of my life I have refrained from theft. Mostly. I did steal a book when I worked at M & S publishing called “The Book of Tea”, but I gave it to my friend John so…no touch backs. I think that was the name of the book, I looked on his shelf a few years ago and saw that book there. I imagine John has forgotten where the book came from.

Yesterday the neighbours across the alley had the lumber to build a fence dropped in their yard. Now that fence is going to be about 120 feet long at least, it is a corner lot. With the price of lumber now I am sorely tempted to sneak across the alley at three in the morning and spirit away a few hundred dollars worth of fence boards. The trouble is keeping the theft secret. Stealing from neighbours is frowned upon even in Alberta.


I suppose that I could take some boards and ship them to my buddy John. He is a pretty good carpenter and could make a bookshelf for all of his books on tea. That would close the circle.



  1. Very interesting, almost every kid got caught stealing candy from the smoke shop or variety store. I know me and a friend did. Luckily they just told our parents and that was enough to set me straight. That ordeal of yours sounds so traumatic for an 8 year old. You didn't deserve that. I remember the book but I no longer have it. In the end you want me to be a FENCE for your stuff !! Just kidding this was a great blog, brought up some memories for me as well.

  2. Thanks Ken, a lesson learned and we all had days our fathers were pissed at us! Ask me about watering down the Crown Royal at 13-14 years old, oh yeah me and my friends started drinking at a early age...LOL. B