When my mother was about eight or nine, my uncle, eight years older, was supposed to be watching her. He wanted to see his girlfriend Pam, who lived on Andrews Air Force Base. Having no qualms about shirking his babysitting duties, he promised her 5 packs of SweeTarts from the 7-11 down the street – a bribe he knew would be effective as it was my mother’s favorite candy – if she would agree to stay in the house by herself.
She gave in to the SweeTarts. He left and was gone for a long time.
My mother, growing increasingly scared, formed a plan that would defend her from attacks of any origination. She stood between the front door and the outside screen with one hand on each knob. Her thinking was if an intruder somehow materialized inside the house she would leap outside and shut him in; if someone attempted to attack from the outside, she had her hand on the screen and could quickly slam it closed. All fronts were covered.
She kept watch in this manner for a long time.
When my uncle finally pulled up the driveway, she was so happy to see him, she ran out to greet him and left both doors to close behind her.
The front door locked. When they couldn’t get inside, my uncle was mad. Eventually, he had to break into the house through the basement door.
How he knew to do that, I still haven’t figured out, but forty-five years later, when he was laid up at his house in too much pain to get off the couch, he yelled directions through the door on using a credit card to break in, so my mother could get inside.
Moral: I’m not sure if she actually got the SweeTarts.