I feel like I need to explain in slow detail what happened next. Slow because it may to the everyday person seem not real enough. I left off telling you that I had been scraping off snacks from my mother’s private stash of really good snacks she kept in the hull of the brown dryer that no longer worked. The old brown dryer's sole function was to conceal her stow of snacks from our crew. I was sneaking them 3-4 times a month. Much to my demise so were my brothers and sister. All taking, all secretly.
One evening when momma was at her night job I eased up to the old brown dryer and peeked inside intent on rescuing a Reese's Cup or two from its insides and to the delight of mine. What I found was nothing, nada, empty. In as many years as I could think back that dryer was never empty. In its better days it was full of wet or dry clothes, In recent months it was momma's snacks, our secret of secret. I shut that dryer and sat completely befuddled. And for the next several days it sat empty.
On momma's next off day, she gathered the crew to her bedside. In as few words as she could muster she told us someone or some ones were stealing her snacks. She told us not to waste a single breath in denial. By morning the snacks better be back in their rightful place or whomever took them had better come forward. Her eyes had flames in them. With that she excused us from her room.
Fast forward to the crew caucus “the tormentor” assembled us to threatening the younger three of us to own up. We spent most of our life alone with him because momma worked up to three jobs sometimes. That is a lot of time for his creative torment if we did not own up.
Of course “can do no harm” smugly felt half way to vindication. As momma's adjunct favorite child, he only need cry and he was half way to freedom. Then there was youngest child “catch me if you can”. She could be caught in the dryer spinning with the snacks up to her eyeballs with Spam and cashews in hand and she would still deny any culpability. This crew was talented and determined. I had to do something drastic. I had to become a rat to save my behind.
I stepped forward and told Eric, Wade and BeBe that even though I was completely innocent (wink), I would tell momma I alone was taking her snacks. And because I knew without a doubt I was not alone in taking, in exchange, I needed something from them. What I demanded was their allowance, all of it, for a month. No allowance, no deal. And no reneging. Blood promise.
I reminded them of the fire in momma's eyes. I was about to step into the beatings of beatings, all for them. I went further, “you know if someone does not tell, we are all going to get beat”. They agreed to my demand. All of them.
Next I waited til the crew went to sleep. Momma slept all day and woke up during night time. At the opportune moment I met her in the kitchen where she was cooking. My head was ringing, 'eat or be eaten.' I blurted out, “Momma we all took your snacks, all of us. No one knew the other was sneaking them. If you will allow me to learn from this, I will pay you back, every cent for all of it. It will take me about a month. I only ask that you don't beat me. Please I feel bad enough. I am the only one who was thoughtful and gracious enough to come forward. All of them are in denial. Please give me a month. If you don't have all your snacks back by then, then I deserve whatever comes.”
For a month I collected their allowance. I told them momma beat me that night (wink) after I confessed while they slept like babies.
Momma changed her hiding place. I never learned the new spot. I gave her the equivalent of about $4 until she became so enamored with my effort she told me it was enough. I profited the rest!
P.S. Portions of this story have been greatly embellished to make DeDe look good.