Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Case of the Stolen Chocolate


I was starving when I went into Whole Foods to pick up some lunch.  Which is obviously why I ended up in the checkout line with lunch and four gourmet chocolate bars.  In my defense,  I could've gotten a cheeseburger.  But, no, I  selected a healthy salmon teriyaki bowl with bok choy and brown rice.  And then, on my way out, that's when I saw the chocolate.  (That's a lie,  I made a special trip to the deep recesses of the store, specifically to scope out the chocolate aisle.)  It just so happens, the chocolate was on sale.  (Which is true, but they were still ridiculously expensive, as most things at Whole Foods are.)  It was for a special occasion after all.  (If your average Friday night of staying in with absolutely no plans is considered a special occasion.)  Anyway, my score was so visually stunning, I took a picture when I got home.

It was Saturday morning when I was cleaning out the cupboard that I realized one of the bars from my super secret stash was gone.  (My super secret stash is no secret.  All of my kids know exactly where it is.  The way I knew where my parents' super secret chocolate stash was, in the high cupboard above the fridge.)  It must be here.  Wait.  Maybe I bought three?  Nope.  I took a photo of four.  And after a thorough investigation of the shelf, I determined it was indeed gone.  Clearly, one of the kids had stolen it.

Right away, I eliminated two suspects, the two kids who aren't very interested in sweets.  Only two remained.  When one of them casually walked into the kitchen, I casually interrogated her.  Based on her non-defensive denial and corresponding oblivious, carefree body language, I knew she wasn't guilty.  Which only left one kid.  The kid who has a long history of being guilty of similar criminal acts of sweets.   The kid who is known to vehemently deny these transgressions when confronted.  Before giving a full teary-eyed confession hours later.   I already had the culprit and I was ready to convict.

So, I searched all the trashcans in the house for evidentiary wrappers.  Then I looked through said child's room.  Then I rummaged the kid's backpack.  (Oh, yes I did.)  Nothing.   I had to give this kid credit, he/she had gotten much better at hiding evidence because I couldn't find anything.  Though that didn't prove anything.  The Black Salt Caramel Bar was still MIA, unless it had already been KIA.  Which was the real question: was there any left to save?  Not whodunit, because that was blatantly obvious.

The guilty kid was "innocently" eating a snack when I began my assault.

"Ok, where's the caramel bar?"  I got right to the point.  Said child's eyes darted directly to the cupboard they were stolen from.
"What caramel bar?"   The kid asked unconvincingly.
"We both know what caramel bar I'm talking about."  There was a pause.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Listen, all I'm saying is please ask before you take any chocolate.  That's all."  (Unsaid:  Don't even think of eating my $6 chocolate bar when we both know a cheapo $1 box of candy from Walgreens would do.) Also, check me out, I'm so calm and understanding after conducting an illegal search of the kid's back pack.
"I didn't take any chocolate!" The kid said emphatically.
I tilt my head to a condescending angle.  "If there's any left make sure it's up away from the dogs so they don't get sick."  I like my condescending head tilts served up with a side of guilt to really get my condemnation across.

The kid was angry with me.  But, you know, in that way where they think they're angry at the person who caught them, but they're really angry at themselves for having committed the crime in the first place.  I was sure of it.  All of it.  Until...

I went back in the same cupboard several hours later and found the stolen chocolate bar, lying on its side.    Where it had slid off the top of the pile of chocolate and wedged itself between the pullout drawer and the shelf.  And I was angry, you know in that way where you think you're angry at the person who committed a crime that never even happened, but you're really just angry at yourself for being a huge, blind, jumping-to-conclusions idiot.  

Guilty!

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