Monday, May 30, 2005

Raspberry Gumballs and the President

Raspberry Gumballs and the President As told by Little Carolyn to her Mom.

Please note that in 2012 much of the anguish suffered by my parents and others in the family was explained when I realized 'Little Carolyn' is a psychopath.  Accepting this was devastating, but necessary.  Recognizing the signs of psychopathy are important to all of us.  No matter how painful it is better to know and take action to protect ourselves and others we love.   January 27, 2017.


She hungered for raspberry gumballs. These ecstatically wonderful delights could only be had from the gumball machine at the local Safeway Market. She knew it was after curfew. This limitation was an annoyance that had been mandated by frisky high school students wandering through the night looking for very different excitements. This could not apply to her. She was law-abiding and careful of the proper rights of others.
Little Carolyn was always a law unto herself.
She got dressed. Her aunt would never know. She could almost taste the gumballs now.
The Safeway was just a few blocks away, a matter of a five-minute walk. She had often ventured into the night on some such small adventure, but this time it would be very different.
The place was pretty quiet except for a clutch of people around the checkout stand at the other end of the store. Little Carolyn, standing around 4’ 8," ignored them, eyes firmly on the source of coming delight.
The coins clinked into the slot and she turned the handle. The machine groaned, coughed, and fell silent. No raspberry gumballs appeared in the spillway. She tried again. Still no gumballs. She knew that appealing to the store manager would result in a smirk and dismissal. That had happened all too often. The gumball machine seemed to be sneering at her.
"Hey! You can’t shake that machine!" Little Carolyn looked back to see a friend of her grandfather’s glaring at her. She had to look way up as he was well over six feet.
"It stole my money and it is not going to let it get away with it – this time." She returned to her activity. Smack.
Little Carolyn felt herself seized bodily and hauled off.
"Apologize to the Manager, Carolyn. Your grandpa is going to be very upset when he finds out."
"No. This machine steals my money and the manager won’t give it back or fix the machine. He promised he would the last time. Grandpa would say I was right to insist on having the gumballs. He might not have wanted me to hit the machine but…."
"But we do not smack machines. They aren’t our property."
"So I guess it is alright to steal from kids?" She looked up into the face of the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan who had paused while bagging his own groceries in Goleta, California in 1981 to intercede, recognizing the grandchild of an old friend.
Little Carolyn would be hauled off by a grim faced President and his accompanying Secret Service cortege and deposited home into the horrified custody of her aunt. She remained unrepentant.
Authority misapplied that ignores the proper rights of individuals was the issue. It is too bad that with the best intentions in the free world President Reagan failed to see this small revolution as what it really was. Standing up for your rights includes the gumballs – even when authority wants you to shut up and just take it.
Maybe if it had been jelly beans he would have understood.
(The above story is the honest go God truth and took place in 1981. I sent a copy of this to Mrs. Reagan on the occasion of the President's borthday in 2003.)


God Bless you, Mr. President

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