Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

Here’s a TIP….or not!

So, my grandson was riding with me in the car and asked me THAT question! Oh no. Not about ‘doing the nasty’ but this one:

”Mamaw…is your neighborhood a good one? Why are there so many sirens?”

So I answered him honestly in my best church lady voice, “Well hon, I live between a hospital and a fire house. So yes, we do have a lot of sirens.”

And as youth do….he added, “But what about those gunshots?”

Oh THAT question.

Well, I tried the politically correct, child psychologist answer: “Well, sweetie….some folks drive by to say ‘hi’. Others drive by and their anger gets triggered. And then, they make some bad choices. And their 2nd Amendment goes off because they have no regard for safety and someone gets hurt.”

Now, my Granny from the Ghetto, brain was tryna to say: “BRUH, these thugs up in here have IQ’s that sag as low as their pants and they be shootin’ the sh** outta each other and poppin gangstas in their cribs, cars, cappin the baby mama, the baby daddy, the baby back ribs, and outrunning the po’-lice and all the time sayin, “Wasn’t me.” And trust me when I say that narrative comes in all ethnicities. Thuglife ignorance does not discriminate. I prefer to say it is the language of SnapChat and the lousy ‘role’ models of TikTok’.

But my grandson didn’t need all that. So I explained to him that my neighborhood is safe. And when bad things happen, it is up to me to bring back the good. Which is what this blog is really about. Read on.

So, the Deb Hall was in my local Subway (Restaurant: this is Indiana and we don’t have subways) and was calling out the contents of my six inch, white bread, delicacy. I had paid and was filling my drink cups when a nice looking, fashionably dressed man entered. The couple behind me was about to order, when all of a sudden, she yelled: “HE JUST STOLE YOUR TIP JAR!”

Now, let me tell you something. I am no vigilante, I don’t carry, and I am 4 ft 10 inches tall and am a middle-aged teacher. (Okay. I hear that snicker about being middle-aged: well, if I live to be 140 years, I AM middle-aged). But you know….it made my blood boil that this thug was stealing tips from young folks with honest jobs to support their young lives.

So I went after him.

I opened the door of Subway, and yelled, “Hey! Hey YOU!” Now why he turned around to even acknowledge me is odd, unless I reminded him of HIS grandmother. Then, I went on to shout, “COME BACK HERE! YOU ARE A THIEF! Bring their money back!”

The Ghetto Granny was on a roll. Am I vicious or what?

I grabbed my Six Inch (as in sandwich not Six Shooter) and bolted out after him. A lady yelled from her car that he had been in ‘WingStop’ and commented that he was in there acting all sketchy. Okay, between you and me, that WingStop IS sketchy! She said he headed toward Hardees, so I did too.

I would love to tell you I caught him, beat him up with Gangsta Grandma moves, heroically whisked the Tip Jar from his and returned it to Subway. But, I never found him. He is one lucky thievin’ thug.

Today, I made peace with the whole incident. I took the Subway employees a new tip jar. With good tips. And lined with construction paper to hide the loot and a mouth on the jar that an adult hand cannot fit into. I took a cable ties and a strong cord so they could attach it to their register and such to eliminate the ‘snatchin’. And in our conversation, the Indian store owner smiled and smiled and told me that they caught him on camera. OH CAMERAS! I never thought of that. Then he said, “You too.” Huh? He smiled and said, “You go after him. We see on camera.” What??? My own Insta-Gram-Ma. The employees thanked me again for my kindness.

Now…before you think that this is a theme about “Look at what I did” let’s look again. If I had not done a good deed after the bad one, I would never be able to look my grandson in the eye and say, “Yes I live in a good neighborhood” unless I am the one to bring good to it.

Every city has their thieves. Crime is a menace and commentary on our culture. But, I would like to believe those folks at the Subway will remember a little old lady brought back their tips. You know…good over evil.

But if I ever see that guy again, I am going to make him pay.

Please don’t tip him off. This bad G-Ma is gonna whup him good.


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