you can’t bullshit a bullshitter. a nice little phrase i learned in 8th grade from one of my friend’s dad. it has stuck with me. i have heard it said different ways, but i liked the direct wording he used, and his use of language made an 8th grader feel two things at once. one – fear – that the person knows you are lying and is “tough” enough to swear. two – camaraderie – hey, alright i belong to the bullshitters club. this guy seems pretty cool.
i’ve had a few things of value stolen and a few i misplaced (my car stereo a few years back – i assure you was not misplaced. my winter jackets? well, probably forgotten/misplaced). i have also stolen items from other people – mostly stores – which i know people own the stores, but it does seem less personal than taking a single item from a person. not that it is okay, but different. right?
i remember stealing an eraser from the school store in 6th grade. they caught me. i had to sit in the office for a few hours – that’s it. i actually enjoyed watching the inner workings of the school – listening to the secretary take calls, the school nurse mumble about fakers, and the occasional parent writing a check or signing a form. more entertaining than mrs. k’s social studies class. i also recall going to baseball card shows at bowling alleys in my early teens. i thought i was slick. i would pick up a baseball card, act like i was really interested in it, carry it away from the table holding it out (that way if they asked me what i was doing i would say i was going to show it to a friend), and when i thought all eyes were off me i would stick it in my my pants or with everything else i was carrying. i was caught once. they asked me to leave the show – they didn’t buy the fact that i was taking their card in my pocket to show my friend across the room. hmm. i think that that is the one that shook me up and helped me realize that the benefits didn’t outweigh the potential consequences, with that said it still didn’t stop me. i will not go into the few things along the way that i have “borrowed”, but i will say it was never anything of notable value and i have not stole anything in probably 10 plus years. 10 is on the safe side – probably more plus – like 14. okay, it was a 40 ouncer from a gas station when i was 20. that was the last thing. one thing i can say is that it was never personal. there is no way i could describe what any of the people i took things from looked like. it was all about obtaining an object – not upsetting an individual. not personal.
we went to the “Y” yesterday. dropping the girls off prior to my run has gotten much easier. this day, a. was greeted with a hug from a friend who she met the week prior. she insists the girl is french – didn’t really appear that way to me, but they enjoy dumping pretend globs of goo on h. and locking other kids in cages (jails?) h. shuffled in after her and i could leave knowing they were happy. i put my stuff in my locker in the family section, hit shuffle on my 8g ipod touch with a clear protector case and two small scratches on the back, a billy bragg/sinead o’connor song i had never heard came on, and i ran 51 times around the track in 28 minutes and 15 seconds. i felt great.
i then went down to the men’s locker room and sat in the sauna for a bit. i kept the music on while i was in the sauna – the whole time wondering if the heat and my perspiration would harm the device – i don’t think it did. i put my shirt, shoes and ipod on a bench by the lockers, took twelve steps to the scale around the corner and weighed myself. after weighing myself, i was coming back around the corner and almost bumped into this guy, he looked at me with big eyes and i wondered if i had come around the corner too quick and upset him – i almost apologized. i turned around (he was at the urinals so i only glanced quick) and looked down to notice that my ipod was gone. i knew then and there that he had just swiped it and was “crotching” it at the urinal as i said “oh man, someone just swiped my ipod.” a few heads turned and then mister “music pants” came over and said “oh man that sucks are you sure.” “yah pretty sure it’s gone” “oh, that really sucks maybe it will turn up at the front desk in 5-10 minutes” why would you give someone a time frame of when they should check up at the front desk? he continued to follow me and act like he was helping. the urge to grab my ipod back was growing, but i knew that would be really awkward if i was wrong. he left the locker room and shortly after i went to the front desk. he was talking to a woman at the counter. hmm? maybe i am wrong. i went to the desk. he asked if i had found it. i said no. he went to leave and i stopped him in the entry way. “hey man, you sure you don’t know where my ipod is?” “no, would it make you feel more comfortable if i emptied my pockets? i mean that is what i would want someone to do.” my mind racing with attack moves with “stop patronizing me” as my mantra. i said “no, that’s cool.” “hope you find it.” “yah”. i watched him walk through the parking lot and around the baseball diamond. the look of death on my face – those of you who know me – my lips were fully pursed, face red, and eyes fixed. (those of you who don’t – it’s more comical than scary.) what should i do? my daughters are in the play area. i asked the woman at the counter, the one he was talking to, if she knew him. “um, yah kind of i went to school with him” “oh” i said “i think he stole my ipod” her eyes rolled back, she sighed and said “i’m sorry. that makes sense. he was kicked out of school for stealing” i told her that i may be late picking the girls up in the play area and went after the guy. (just like jack bauer would have – by the way we finished the first season last night. pretty darn good) i’m not sure what i thought i was going to do. i had this totally un-me moment of walking as if i could destroy or intimidate anything in my way – i felt a foot taller and 100 lbs heavier – i probably looked funny to someone who had no idea what happened – but ready to defend my ipod’s and male ego’s honor. (reality break – i had no intention of catching up with him. i needed to act to satisfy something inside me that said go) i then ran into a cop. (good thing i saw him before i got to the guy – wink) i shared what had happened and he went to look for the guy. he didn’t find him. i filed a report and will probably never see our ipod again. whew. a long story.
today’s thoughts after thinking:
i am not naive or self-centered enough to think i am the first person to have an ipod stolen at a ymca from a non-member, or that there should be a full investigation into the matter. truthfully, i felt funny filling out a police report. why didn’t i just leave it at “oh well someone took my ipod” well, the answer seems to be that i felt powerless against this person who wronged me. i kept hoping that my appeals and presence would get him to decide that he was wrong. why in the hell would i think that would happen? it’s just an ipod. i know. plainly – it upset me that someone took something of mine. i was angry for a while. it is unfortunate that i/we can’t leave something out for 1 minute without the possibility of someone taking it. really, that last sentence is not true, or b.s. as put earlier. that would be like saying we can’t sit in chairs – they might break. or. we can’t hang pictures – your toddler might run into the wall, cause the picture to fall on their head, crack it open, and result in permanent brain damage – don’t hang pictures. we can’t go outside. we can’t shake anyones hands – they all have germs. the truth is that we can trust most people around us, we can leave our garage doors open, we can have a stranger watch our bike quick when we run in to the gas station to go to the bathroom (thanks) – or just leave our bike there, and we can teach our kids that adults/people are (mostly) good and can be trusted. this was not personal and it is not regular. i could use this to make a whole slew of accusations about humanity, a little dramatic, but i could. yes, i’m upset with the guy and would prefer to never see him again. i would also be happier if my ipod touch was still in my possession. but it’s not. damn, now i have to run around the track with my thoughts. i don’t know if this guy knows how much pain he is really causing me. i keep an eye on my things because there are people who don’t want to work for them, but i’m not going to be suspicious of everyone. just more aware.