Long long ago, in a far away land, there was a small teenage kid, named Frankie Mar….. okay so it’s really just me when I was younger.. but growing up in Brownsville back in the day, there wasn’t a whole lot of things to do, not that it’s really different now but back in day the place to go to was Amigoland Mall. Some of my memories always included going to JcPenny with my mom, going to KB Toys , Orange Julius, Chik Fil A, Walden Books, Radioshack, and I remember the arcades that you had to go down to into a corridor where there was restrooms.
One of the many other places I used to like going to was the music store, Musicland, this place was literally heaven for everyone. Back in the day if you wanted to listen to music, you had to go to the store and listen to it by putting some headphones on and playing the sample tracks, not like now you can just stream it for free pretty much on youtube, spotify or elsewhere. I was a teenager of course, so there was a lot of raging hormones and this was about the time that I started checking out babes on a regularly basis. My room started becoming a collage of playboy posters that I would acquire with the likes of Jenny Mcarthy, Carmen Electra, Victoria Silvstedt and other centerfolds. My mom starting asking me where I was getting the money to buy so many posters, granted she gave me a small allowance but she would be shaking her head trying to make sense of everything. In reality I would actually buy a poster and steal one, kind of like a buy one get one special 🙂 . All my friends would come over my house after school and check out some of the finest babes of Playboy, it felt cool, as a kid you want to be popular. Stealing posters became a habit, like a kleptomaniac, it just became a normal thing to do on the weekend, go to the mall and grab a poster. I even stopped buying posters all together, I figured well I haven’t gotten caught, I could use my $5 to play Mortal Kombat at the arcades. I was stealing so many posters at one point and getting away with it that I was starting to feel invisible, of course when you hit this plateau is when you start getting reckless, then one day… the unthinkable happened…
So one day my good friend Pablo and I went to Amigoland mall on one of our typical weekends, his aunt dropped us off and we went to Musicland as we always did. He went to the music section to listen to some jams and I went towards the very back where they had the poster section, there was a new poster I liked and put it quickly down my pants and made sure nobody was looking. My friend actually ended up buying a music CD and we went to the counter so he could pay, I had to act like I was just there to accompany him and there was something on the counter about gum and trying a free sample and I tell the clerk “Can I have my free sample” and he responds “Yeah, you’ll get your sample alright”, little did I know he was being sarcastic. My friend finished paying and we started leaving the store, right before the exit the clerk followed us and catches up to me “Are you going to give me my poster back”, he says catching me off guard … I didn’t know what to say but I ended up lifting my tshirt and giving him back the poster, “follow me to the back” he tells me and so I did. I’m sitting down in the back and the clerk calls the police and I’m thinking of what the hell am I going to tell my parents. The police officer shows up some time after and tells me I’m under arrest and that I have to turn around because he going to put the handcuffs on me. I get escorted out and I see my friend standing there unsure of what to do, so I tell him “call your aunt to pick you up but tell her someone picked me up” Finally at the police station they call my mom and tell her the bad news, she came over quickly to get me out.
There was not a whole lot said on the way from the police station, but after getting home my mom gave me this talk, it’s not one of those typical talks that you normally get when you get in trouble as a kid but if not how you let your mom down, she’s thinking that you’re a good kid staying away from trouble and here you are getting arrested for stealing. “Just wait till your dad gets here”, my mother told me afterwards, I was scared as shit… it was going to come down to a big ass whooping. My father got home and I was thinking I was going to get whipped with the belt, my dad was old school and he didn’t play around when it came down to punishing me when I misbehaved, but surprisingly he sat down and talked to me and gave me this huge talk about the consequences of stealing and it was a pretty deep talk that it actually made me cry because I let my parents down. My mom tore all my posters up which kind of sucked but couldn’t blame her for doing it.
As for me the juvenile court decided that I had to serve a couple of hours of community service, since I didn’t have a prior record, I would have to go serve time at the commemorative airforce. I had to go for about 4 Saturday’s and each time required me being there for about 6 hours. At first it was kind of fun checking out the memorabilia, getting a free history lesson, checking out the vintage world war 2 airplanes but mopping the museum floor and sweeping the huge ass hangar got tiring real quick but I had pay for my crime. Eventually I finished my community service and learned not to steal posters again.
I’m grateful for my parents teaching me values and even though I was a big handful during my younger years, the lessons I learned have served me well in life and because of that I have taught my son those same values as well. Who knows what would of happened if my parents never punished me, maybe instead of stealing posters I would of been out there stealing car stereos and other things. Be out there for your kids like my mom and dad were out there for me.