How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Pocket Intruders

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My Pickpocketing Son

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.

Pac Man Pick Pocket

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

“Mmmkay, it’s been a pleasure treating you with suspicion and disrespect, sir. Mmmkay buhhh-bye.” (click!)

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.

Baby Criminals
They are inside the house!!!


14 Responses to “Pocket Intruders”

  1. ShanMerrie says:

    LOL at the sandwich comment! I too have reached the age where practicality often beats out the cool factor. Why else do I lug a giant, slumpy diaper bag brimming with toy cars and enough snacks to ride out nuclear holocaust? I rely on its sad, depleted state to keep any potential theivery at bay; although your velcro wallet story proves that some petty criminals will stoop pretty low. What did they even get away with? Like 14 dollars in singles and a dried out condom? (Haha–sorry!)

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha! Glad you liked the sandwich bit. I only lost a twenty, not very dramatic. But twenty bucks back them was like the equivalent of 30 or 40 bucks now, and to a teen, that’s the equivalent of like 200 or 300 bucks! Just sayin’

      • ShanMerrie says:

        I would have been plenty mad to lose that hard earned babysitting money of mine. Heck,I’d STILL be mad to lose a twenty; why do they always disappear the second you break ’em?

  2. Jonathan says:

    LOL! You’re so funny to think today’s generation of kids is going to know what an arcade is… Most kids already think PacMan is already one of those “retro-styled” games made for Android tablets.

    • Andy says:

      Nah, they know about them. They’re almost 12 and 14 now, so they caught the tail end of the video game arcade era (I made sure of it). But it’s sad, you’re right. My littles 3 year old will need to read a Wikipedia article on arcades.

  3. MotherDuck says:

    Fraud Departments suck almost as much as Mortgage Departments and the IRS. This is not meant to be a commercial but I’m a LifeLock member and I enjoy dealing with people proactively like they do rather than having to defend my honor to CommunistRobotLady.

    Funny Post! That look on Lucus’s face is freakin’ hilarious!

  4. Laurie says:

    My husband is oh so paranoid about his wallet, always checking for it..he also keeps it in his front pocket. Maybe he was ripped off at an arcade back in the day…Seriously Lucas is so freaking cute!

    • Andy says:

      Aw thanks! He’s human butter, pure creamy yumminess. I don’t know if your hubby was ripped off, but I completely understand him. 😉

  5. When the time comes, perhaps if you pull your wallet out of your FMP a couple of times, the kids will just start asking Mom for cash instead. Maybe put the car keys there too.

  6. CatZilla says:

    It breaks my heart when I have to explain the evils of the world the kiddos. The “but why would they do that?” questions kill me a little inside.

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