“Dad, why did Uncle John throw a smoke bomb into a dress factory?”
Our daughter had learned that my older brother nearly landed in juvenile court for a practical joke, which seemed like a fun idea at the time. Juvenile court might have been preferred after my Dad got through with him…OUCH!
“Well, we all aspired to be lieutenants in the local Mafia.” I didn’t say that, however I wasn’t far off on the aspirations some of the other urchins.
“Aside from NOT THINKING, he thought it would be fun to watch screaming ladies scurrying for their lives!”
“Were you guys bad kids?”
“We were apprentice arms dealers. No, actually, we were both good, HOWEVER…”
“Yeeeessssss??????” She was curious.
“We had an abundant sense of adventure.”
“Did you guys KNOW you’d get into trouble?”
Ahhh! A parental dilemma…should one come clean on past transgressions?
I contemplated refusing to answer on the grounds of self-incrimination.
“We chose not to think, which was just as bad.”
This was risky territory, because I didn’t want to give her an excuse to make the same mistakes.
I continued. “But it didn’t matter. There was an entire neighborhood of Moms, Dads, storeowners and mailmen ready to RAT on us. We ALWAYS got caught. Even if there were no witnesses, our Catholic guilt made us voluntarily confess. I would confess first so Uncle John would get the shellacking.”
“However, WOE TO YOU IF YOU DO ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY EVIL!!!!” I was forced to threaten fire and brimstone.
Now that I’ve disclosed my family’s criminal past, please keep an eye out for our kids, especially if you see one of them torching a factory.