The man behind the mic
The owner of the house beamed a torch into our startled eyes, and while my brothers scarpered, I froze
A BUNCH of kids in America got questioned by police after breaking and entering a zoo. They were caught after posting pictures of themselves on Facebook, posing, kissing and stroking the animals. Harmless I guess, but it was ‘after hours’ and therefore illegal.
As a kid I often found myself in trouble, led astray by older brothers, adventurous friends, not to mention my own scheming mind.
There are two crimes that spring to my mind – the first involved stealing daffodils from a graveyard garden.
I never set out to disrespect the deceased, and while technically I suppose it was theft, I was merely trying to show an entrepreneurial side of my character. I picked a wheelbarrow full of daffodils from the roadside one summer, bunched them up and sold them at the end of our drive. I hung a homemade sign with the words “Daffs, 50p a bunch” and within two hours the flowers were gone, and my biscuit tin was filled with cash. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I expanded the business and brought in a partner, my buddy Al, chosen because his parents owned land that happened to have lots off yellow daffs just begging to get picked. All went well for a few days before his dad warned us off, forcing us to look elsewhere for stock. It was then that I struck on the idea of a late night venture into the village church garden, which was a sea of yellow.
On our second forage, we were caught red handed by an outraged old man: “You can’t steal those flowers, they are church property!” The business soon folded, and while I escaped heavy punishment I had to say sorry to a great many people.
For my second confession of childhood trouble I take no responsibility at all. I was simply with my brothers, who regularly enjoyed scrumping. The art of stealing apples was practiced by many kids near where we lived, simply because there were so many gardens that had apple trees.
The night we were caught, it was in a garden that gave us only crab apples. The owner of the house beamed a torch into our startled eyes, and while my brothers scarpered, I froze. This man then marched me by my ears to where we lived, where I was forced to confess my evil sins to my mum and dad.
They promised to see that I would be punished accordingly. The truth was, my dad just laughed it off. “If you are going to go scrumping lad, make sure you don’t get caught,” he told me.
I never scrumped again.