Tis the season...

I felt my jacket--which was wadded up beside me on the booth seat--move before I saw the rather large and hairy hand that was (and not as stealthily as I presume its owner hoped) reaching into the inside pocket.

I glanced over when I felt the movement that should not have been, saw the awkwardly long fingers snaking into my pocket...and slammed by elbow into it.

With that, I heard two things:
What the FUCK are you doing?"

I looked up and there was a fairly tall, very pissed off middle aged man storming towards me from the direction of the restrooms. I didn't wet myself, but I wanted to. He looked ticked enough that snapping me in two would have been no problem for him.

Mouth open--I didn't know what the hell to say--I turned in my seat and saw to whom the rather large and hairy hand belonged to.

He couldn't have been more than 13.

I had just executed a very hard elbow strike onto the hand of a kid.

I was pretty sure in the moment that the middle aged Ticked Off Person was his dad, and I was about to become shreds of my former self.

Nope, bot gonna wet myself.

He barely looked at me, though. He brushed past my table and lit--verbally--on the kid. "What the hell? What the hell were you doing?"

Face red, tears now pooling in his eyes, the kid stammered "I don't know."

Dad looked at me.

"All I saw was a hand reaching into my jacket. I didn't stop to see who it was attached to."

Dad started to apologize, had the words "I'm sorry" formed, but the kid whined, "My hand is BROKEN!"

"Good." (The Dad, not me...I was keeping my mouth shut at that point. I'm not stupid. Exactly.)


"Yeah, and it's gonna hurt you a lot more when you're paying me back for getting it fixed."

"But that's not FAIR!"

Dad put his hands on the table and leaned forward, gritting his teeth together. "It'd be FAIR if she called the cops."

The tears spilled over. "But I didn't really take anything."

(I did not point out that the only thing in that pocket was a cheap pen.)

((He would have been a disappointed thief.))

(((If the contents of my pocket had occurred to me 2 minutes before, none of this would have happened. It was a pen for freak's sake.)))

"But you tried to steal."

"But you won't let her call the police...?"

"Like hell I won't."

Now the kid was crying hard. No, I did not feel bad about that. Just because there was nothing worth more than a dollar in that pocket, that didn't excuse his intention--which was, apparently, to rip off the lady in the booth before Dad could get back from the restroom.

"I'm not calling the cops," I finally said. What good would it do if I did?

Um, yeah, he had his hand in my pocket and even though there wasn't anything much in that pocket, I whacked him as hard as I could with one of the strongest bones in my body, and now want him arrested. Toss him in with O.J. That'll learn him.

Dad let his breath out, as if he had been holding it for a long time, and sighed "Thank you," as he did.

The kid's hand was at that point very swollen, and a couple of different weird shades of red.

As Dad picked up their uneaten food and dropped it onto a tray he mumbled, "Come on, let's go get that looked at."

"You can't tell how it really happened!"

"I won't."

The kid sniffled his relief.

"You will."

He was made to apologize to me, to the staff at the counter, and to the other lone person watching in seeming disbelief.

I don't think junior is going to have the happiest of holidays. He's about to get a clear understanding of what it's like to have parents seriously disappointed in him.

Dad was crushed. Seriously crushed.

And my elbow hurts.

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