Disclosure: This post is brought to you by LifeLock, a leader in identity theft protection.
I’ve had my wallet stolen over 100 times. I know that sounds like a lot, but maybe you’re forgetting I have kids. BUT! I’ve been pickpocketed a couple of times “for realsies.”
The First Time
In my teens, I journeyed to the video game arcade by myself. When you first start driving, you don’t “go” anywhere, you “journey.”
After an hour, zoned out, slack-jawed in front of a particularly good quarter-gobbling box of digital joy: Vvvooot Vvooot Vvvoot… GAME OVER.
I stabbed my sweaty hand into my lint-filled pocket and then reached for my wallet to cash in for more coins.
My heart froze. Gone. NOT THERE! I quickly shuffled around the entire arcade searching the floor. The attendant looked like the first place in a Jaba the Hut impersonation contest and he croaked to me from the front.
“Hey kid, you’s lookin’ fer dis?” waving my crappy vinyl wallet in front of his fat-valanche of a face. The velcro yelped as I tore it open. EMPTY. He sneered, “At least he dropped da wallet off. Heh heh.”
I sagged. Violated. GAME OVER, OVER! Then I perked up. I had been pickpocketed! And I didn’t feel a thing! He was so skilled, just a breeze down the video game aisle, like a ghost. In truth, he could have been a palsied stilt-walker covered in a suit of tin cans and I might not have noticed, but whatever! I could now say that I’d “had my wallet lifted.” Adventure.
The Second Time
I was not so thrilled the next time it happened. It was a lot less adventuresome. I got a call from a fraud representative at my bank. Golly, we just had a swell ol’ time for a solid half an hour verifying my identity and confirming the recent activity on my account.
Then the womanlike robot switched from being dead-inside to being openly rude and suspicious, treating me like I had stolen my own card! Withdrawing $900 in three days in as many cities. After she was satisfied that I was not a Communist criminal mastermind with the gift of teleportation, she acknowledged the activity as fraudulent.
In the end, we put together that the likeliest possibility was that some bastard pickpocketed my wallet from my baggy-ass shorts in a store, scanned/cloned it and then PUT IT BACK. So they could milk it, since I wouldn’t report it stolen!
Front Middle Pocket Time
So, for a long while after that, whenever I was out in public, I started putting my wallet in the front of my pants. What I like to call the front middle pocket. This had nothing to do with making my manhood look like Godzillahood; I’m pretty sure the appeal of a bigger-looking penis goes away when it’s shaped like a sandwich.
One day one of my two older boys, Cody and Max, asked me why I did it. They were pretty young, but I told them the stories and explained what a pickpocket was and they sort of looked at me strangely, absorbing for the first time that there could be a person who only stole things as their living. It’s weird explaining criminality to kids. You think it’d be easy since they can be such thieves, brutes and vandals themselves.
Sigh. Now my littlest one, Lucas, has discovered never-ending delight and laughter in yanking my wallet free and running around with it. I’m not going to get worried until he’s older and comes back from a video game arcade with more money than he left with.
“Just wrap it in tinfoil…”
That’s a quote from LifeLock’s 1 minute video on credit card thievery FROM A DISTANCE! Whenever my kids are nagging, every time I put tinfoil on my head, they stop and walk away. Seems legit.
They are inside the house!!!