Blog every day in May topic – Issue a public apology
This is a tricky one. I don’t apologise to people lightly, normally because they don’t deserve it and if anything they should be apologising to ME. But the topic is the topic, so I shall have to make an exception.
I wish to apologise to Center Parcs. Center Parcs, I am sorry. I stole. I stole from you and I am sorry.
Specifically, I stole this:
Yes, to my shame it is true, and it is the only time I have ever shoplifted anything. I coveted the Donald Duck badges they had in their gift shop, and even though it only cost about 99p and I was on holiday and had been a very good boy, my Mum refused to buy it for me. I must have been about 7 at the time.
I’m not sure what caused the impulse to seize me, but after my Mum had denied me the badge, she left the shop and went to a café over the road where my Dad was waiting. I was left alone, staring longingly at the tray of around a hundred of these badges which I now could not have. And a little voice whispered into my head ‘If you were just to pick up one of the badges for a moment, then put your hand into your pocket rather than back into the tray, no one would see you and no one would ever know. It would be so easy.’
It was rather unlike me. I’m not one to break rules really, even if I don’t agree with them, and I take a dim view of theft. But I REALLY wanted that badge.
So I took it. With my heart pounding in my chest, I walked past the counter and out of the shop. I got outside and realised no one had even looked at me, let alone challenged me. But I then realised I either had to hide the badge forever or somehow explain my possession of it to my mother.
Mum waved to me from over the road (it wasn’t really a road – they don’t have many roads at Center Parcs – but it was like a pathway cycle lane thing). Inspiration struck, and with some theatricality I effected a surprised face and stooped to pick up something I had noticed on the ground. OR HAD I?
‘Look Mum! I found this on the floor just over there!’
This was the same badge I had minutes earlier been denied with some degree of whining and pouting on my part. In what world did I think this deeply implausible story was going to be believed?
IN THIS WORLD, THAT’S FUCKING WHAT!
‘Oh that’s lucky,’ my Mum said absently.
And that was it! Grand theft in a matter of moments, and no investigation or repercussions. I couldn’t believe my luck. All those years of being a good boy paid off right there, when it couldn’t even enter my mother’s head that I might have stolen the badge.
But I look back with shame on my brief foray into the criminal underworld. I am lucky that my success didn’t give me a taste for it. That badge was not mine to take, it belonged to Center Parcs.
So Center Parcs, I am sorry.
I hope this blog post does not come back to haunt me, and preclude me from high office if I am ever vetted for a job.
I still have the badge somewhere. It’s in a box at my parents’ house. Perhaps it is possessed of some evil energy that causes small boys to commit crimes. Perhaps a forgotten box is the best place for it.
And the saddest part of the whole episode? I don’t even care for Donald Duck.