Sunday, November 22, 2009

To Catch a Thief

One of my lovely daughters lifted $20 from my wallet on Saturday.

I'm quite certain of it.

For after I returned from a fundraising breakfast for a young mother with terminal cancer, a stint at work delivering Thanksgiving baskets to the homes of the area's poor, and attending my 27-year-old cousin's profoundly sad and troubling wake. . . .well, the only thing in life I was sure of was the fact that I had a total of $80 in my wallet.

And yet, later in the evening, when I pulled out my wallet to pay the take-out-delivery guy (What?  Don't tell me you would cook after a day like that????) there were clearly only three twenties in there.

And so I proceeded to launch an investigation - starting with the most-likely culprit first:


Me:   Ponzi, did you, by chance, take a twenty dollar bill from my wallet this afternoon?

Ponzi:  No, I asked you for five dollars.   Remember?  And you told me I couldn't take it and you told me to get a job.

Me:  Exactly. . .  .

Ponzi:  But I didn't, Mom!  Wouldn't that have been stupid of my to ask for five and take twenty instead?

Me:  But I only had twenties in my wallet.   And remember how you told me you couldn't apply for a job now. . . you know. . .  cause who would hire someone with a big black eye???

Ponzi:  I didn't take it, Mom!  I swear!  It must have been Trigger!

And so the scope of my investigation widened to another bedroom.

Me:  Trigger?   Did you, by chance, take $20 from my wallet this afternoon?

Trigger:  No Mom!  Why would I do a think like that?  You know I came home from college broke with no money left in my bank account!

Me:  Exactly. . .  .

Trigger:   So if I went and bought something you would have seen it and then you would have known that I didn't have the money for it and you probably would have thought that I stole the money from you and I don't care what you think but I'm not that stupid Mom!

Me:  Not if you used it on coffee. . . or tanning. . .  or makeup. . .  how would I notice a thing like that?  You were gone an awfully long time after you dropped Ponzi off at her friend's house.   For all I know, it could still be in your wallet.

Trigger:  Oh.  My.  God!!!  You can look in my wallet if you want to.  You already know I'm broke. . .

So there you have it, my friends.  The investigation is at a stand still.  I'm thinking of running fingerprint checks on both of them  (you know. . . like I do with all the unwitting church volunteers.) And the dog.  I'm considering having her paw-printed too while I'm at it . .  .

Alright.. .  I know you all have a theory as to where that $20 went.   So you might-as-well go ahead and say it here. . .

When you live in a den with liars and thieves, you can no longer afford to be proud.

Quite literally. . .