April 2004 (v6 i5)
Shirking responsibility since 1997
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I like to steal things sometimes
Trays from Sonic, straw dispensers, small children
by Kristin Hillery, Managing Editor

Whatís so bad about stealing? Iíve found that itís a fun hobby that serves a purpose. No religion or collecting bubble gum wrappers for me ĖĖ taking cool stuff is where itís at!

I can pinpoint the exact moment I realized how great stealing is. On my ninth birthday, my parents got me the most awesome Huffy girlís bike in history, complete with five mind-blowing speeds and a shiny pink finish. My bike and I would go everywhere together ĖĖ the roller skating rink, my best friendís house, and weekly Indian Princess meetings. But one time on a trip to the park, I ran into some trouble. A group of 10-year-olds surrounded me, pushed me off my bike, stole my brand new saddle shoes, and took my bike. I sat on a teeter-totter for over six hours crying with my helmet and kneepads still on, plotting my revenge on those assholes.

What I came up with is kind of like the Blockbuster Entertainment Award-winning film Pay It Forward. But unlike the sweet, pre-balls-drop Haley Joel Osment character in the movie who had visions of making the world a better place (and dead people), I decided to make the world a place where karma could bite you on the ass at any given moment. Because someone stole valuable possessions from me, I thought, I should pay it backward and take things from others just so they could know what itís like. Then each victim could continue the cycle and do the same thing to whomever they chose. Get it?

And itís not even difficult to pull off my idea. The straw dispensers, pens, and Ford Taurus hubcaps Iíve collected over the years without getting caught only serve to make me want to keep paying it backward. Yesterday at Sonic, my Ocean Water and coney were brought to me on a red tray that conveniently hooked onto the window of my car. I looked around to make sure the coast was clear, and then I casually unhooked the tray and put it underneath the passenger seat where no one would ever guess to look. With that simple, deft move, it was all mine!

Family members usually donít expect to be paid backward. Take my kid brother, for example. Heís really into collecting key chains, and in my opinion, he has a few too many. Whenever I visit my family, I make sure to take a few of them out of his room while heís at soccer practice or asleep. Because he believes his friends are the culprits, heís been paying it backward to them and continuing the cycle.

As you can see, thereís a great tale to tell for everything Iíve stolen, and I like to use those stories as icebreakers when I have friends over: ďSee that framed print of a southwestern sunset in my living room? Thatís from a La Quinta Inn lobby in San Diego.Ē I then explain how paying it backward works, hoping to inspire future generations.

So when I came home from Spring Break and found that a burglar had broken into my apartment and stolen my television, stereo, and computer, I shrugged it off. A kind soul was simply paying it backward, and thatís a wonderful thing.
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