The Dare Devils


My friend Linda was big on dares- there wasn’t a day that went by where she didn’t have a dare and there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t take her up on it.

I never worried we would get in trouble or caught pulling off those dares because we always did.

Every. Single. Time.

It was towards the end of the school year ( we were in the first grade, so we were about  seven at the time ) and our teacher had drawn these pictures with magic markers on huge sheets of paper and we got to choose a picture and tell a story about it.

The pictures were ok. Our stories were probably not so great but what me and Linda liked were those pictures she drew in heavy black marker pen, specifically we liked the way they smelled.

On our way home from school that day Linda came up with a dare- let’s go the Pink Store ( I don’t know what it was actually called, we just called it the Pink store because it was Pepto Bismol  pink- what else were we going to call it?) and get ourselves a couple of those pens.

I told her I only had a quarter and she laughed and said she didn’t have any money at all- she dared me to steal one and she would steal one too.

So we did and we got pinched before we even left the store.

My Dad and Linda’s Step-Dad showed up and  found us in the backroom in the Manager’s office which was, no kidding,  in a cage. I mean, that’s the way I remember it. It looked like a hamster cage with a desk and a safe and boxes full cigarettes and candy bars stacked against the back wall.

The Manager had to unlock a padlock to get inside and she actually locked us in there until our Dads arrived.

I guess the idea was to scare me and Linda so bad we would never steal anything ever again and I guess our Dads and the store manager ( I found out years later that most of the Dads and a couple of the Moms in the neighborhood had the hots for her ) had nothing else better to do or our Dads just wanted to show her how manly they were because they both went for the Oscar for ” Tough Guys who scared the Hell out of little girls ”

My Dad did his jabbing his finger into my face to prove his point thing and telling me that I had better pray to God that the Manager didn’t call the police and have us arrested.

Here’s a funny sidenote:

My Dad was an atheist and he never stepped foot in a church unless someone was getting married, buried or baptized) But I went Mass every Sunday  with Linda so maybe he figured I’d buy that threat.

No. Of course I didn’t.

So there was some talk about how she should call the police because shoplifting was serious and the Manger asked to speak to our Dads out front and yes she locked the cage AGAIN.

Linda wondered around the room and I sat in the Managers chair and scooted around the floor- the chair had wheels. I thought that was SO cool.

” You better cry. ” Linda told me mid scoot.

I told her I didn’t want to cry why didn’t she do it?

” Because, ” Linda said ” your eyes are bigger and if you don’t cry we’re gonna be here all day.”

So when they came back and unlocked the cage Linda asked if we were going to get arrested and taken to jail and I started to cry.

” I don’t want to be arrested. ” I sobbed. ” I’m scared. Please don’t let the police take us away.”

” Well you should be scared. ” My Dad said going for not only the Oscar for Tough Guy but also the Gold Medal for Scary Tough Guy  ” Because the Police are on their way. But (  forget the Managers name- this was over 50 years ago ) can tell them not to arrest you if you promise us right now that you will never steal again.”

Linda grabbed me around the neck and hugged me. ” We promise. We swear to God we will never steal anything again.”

I cried and I hiccuped and the Manager gave me a tissue. ” I hope you girls learned a lesson here.”

We said we did and believe it or not, she went to one of the boxes and took out two candy bars and handed one to me and Linda.  Then she got a couple for our Dads and then me and Linda were marched out of the cage single file.

I was walking behind our Dads and Linda who was walking behind me bumped into me and then she grabbed me by my hair and pulled me back a little. I turned around and she said, ” Go.”

We ended up at our house because our Moms were  out ( why do I think they were at a Tupperware party? )  and my Dad could actually cook so me and Linda were sent  out to the backyard to rake leaves while my Dad made us all something to eat.

I guess we raked some leaves and then we climbed up into my Cherry Tree and made ourselves comfortable on a branch. Linda reached into my pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and opened it and  then we each took one,

” I don’t smoke, ”  I said.

Linda shrugged and popped a smoke into her mouth.

” We don’t have any matches. ” I said as I put one into my mouth and let it dangle out of the corner my mouth the way my Dad smoked his.

” We’ll go back to the store and get those tomorrow.”

I looked at Linda.

” Come on, I dare you. “

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