Tag Archives: stealing

thirty one cents. (and lots of interest due)

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many years ago

way back in first grade

i took thirty one cents

from hillman bailey III’s open desk

it was a matter of greed and opportunity

that spurred me on

i was really wanting candy from the store

 sitting right in front of me

there appeared thirty one cents

almost dropping in my lap

i would repay hillman one day

when i got a job

at least this is all what i told myself

when i bought candy at the store

with my windfall

it didn’t taste as good as i expected

 feeling lousy inside

i never told hillman

never made any attempt to make the situation right

but over the years i’ve thought about it

from time to time

 today when paying cash at the grocery store

 thirty one cents

dropped into the change slot

 left it for the next person

maybe they had a child who wanted candy

 silently said i was sorry

donated it back into the universe

on behalf of hillman bailey III

trying to make good on my word.

“guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.”

-erma bombeck

wheelbarrow.

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 andrew killawee is a canadian tv producer who recently had his wheelbarrow stolen and he announced this with a sign outside of his home: “BRING BACK MY WHEELBARROW.”

 a few days later, the sign had changed: “THANK YOU FOR BRINGING BACK MY WHEELBARROW.” apparently tersely worded demands for stolen property, in rural canada, lead to results. and results lead to politely worded replies.

all of this might have gone forgotten—a brief, humorous tale of small-town crime, one among many brief, humorous tales of small-town crime that happen in small towns across the world—if it hadn’t been for twitter, where an acquaintance of killawee combined the hand-painted signs into a single tweet.  

her tweet went viral, and he later noted his regret at not being more fluent with the service. “well it took a lot of hard work, but I think I can now retire. thanks to my friend for really making the big push here … i’ll learn twitter one of these days.”

“i mean if we even had a wheelbarrow,

that would be something.”

-william goldman

 

 

 

credits: erik shilling, atlas obscura, andrew killawee -photo