The Most Exciting Thing I Have Ever Stolen

>> Dec 8, 2009

Following on from Friday's post on  The Most Terrifying Thing I Have Ever Driven ,the answer to the first question from last week's Five Things About Me Quiz, today I bring you the answer to question two:

The most exciting thing I have ever stolen is:
a. a helicopter
b. an F1 race car
c. a box of paper-clips.

The most exciting thing I have ever stolen is...a box of paper-clips. Well, actually it was one giant paper clip, and when I say giant it wasn't bigger than me or anything (now that would be impressive) you could still fit it in your hand.

I was about 7 or 8 and my mother had taken me to London for a few days to stay with my aunt.  We were in a newsagents, my mother and I, and whilst she was looking for something I was browsing the comics.  Hanging down from the display were these huge, to me, paper clips.

I reached my hand up, I just wanted to touch one, to get a closer look.  I pulled one off the display and brought it closer to my face, just then my mother called.

'Heather?  Heather, where are you?'

I panicked.  I was sure I would be in trouble for pulling it off the display. I tried to put it back but couldn't figure how to make it fasten back on to the flimsy plastic.  She was getting closer.  Her voice starting to get that panicked edge to it because I hadn't answered.

'Heather?  Heather!'

I shoved my hand in my pocket just as she rounded the corner of my isle.

'There you are, lets go.'

The paper clip felt huge in my pocket, my hand still wrapped around it, protecting it, hiding it.  I was sure it obvious, sure that everybody in the shop knew it was there.  At the counter my mum paid for her purchase and I stared at the floor. My heart was pounding, the blood rushing in my ears.  I was going to get caught.

We left thje shop, nobody noticed a thing.  How could they not see the neon flashing light over head saying GUILTY?  All I could think about was this clip in my pocket.  The guilt made me feel sick, I couldn't eat, nothing was interesting, I just wanted to go home so I could hide it, get rid of it and pretend it had never happened.

Back at my aunt's house I somehow managed to keep it hidden but spent the rest of the holiday convinced I was going to be found out.  Eventually the holiday came to an end we went home.  Back home I hid it in my bedroom but was sure my mum would find it.  Each day I came home from school and hid it in a new, better, safer place.

It was eating me up, driving me mad.  I decided I had to get rid of it, it was the the only way.

For some reason that must have seemed like a good idea at the tine, I thought the perfect place would be my sister's coat pocket.  Our coats were hung up behind the front door, mine and my sister's on lower hooks than the adults.  I slipped down the stairs clutching my stolen bounty and popped it into my sister's coat pocket.  The relief was immediate.  I'd done it, I'd gotten rid of it, I could now get on with the rest of my life.  I congratulated myself on my cunning and put the whole thing behind me.  Until, the next day.

My sister was only four.  Her coat pockets were no doubt somewhere my mum was constantly emptying of rocks and worms and other unpleasant things she didn't want in the house.  I came home from school to the Spanish Inquisition.  Did I have anything I wanted to tell them?  Was there anything I thought they ought to know?  I did the only thing that seemed viable at the time.  I denied everything.  Even when they showed me the clip, I denied it all, after all they hadn't found it in my coat, therefore it couldn't be mine, right?

Right, sure. Shame it had a sticker on the back with the shop's address, in London.

Banged to rights, I hung my head in shame and got the hiding of my life.

The moral to this story?  Don't steal.  Or if you do, find a better hiding place than your sister's coat pocket.  Oh, and remember to remove the label.

Sorry sis.

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