The Pickpocket

Luke models his rich and famous look.

I love my youngest son to pieces. He’s a gem. He makes me smile every single day. He makes many people smile every day. He’s determined, funny, and quick as a whip. This is why he’s dangerous. He’s a snake oil salesman. If you’re around him, you’d best keep your hands in your pockets or he will rob you blind. No. Seriously. The kid is a thief. He’s always been all about the money and working the angles to score something he wants. As much as I adore him, I feel it’s in the public’s best interest for me to issue a formal warning now before it’s too late.

Luke’s 9th birthday is approximately one month away. He’s been planning for this momentous occasion since one minute after he finished opening his last Christmas gift. That’s when he surveyed the present situation and noted what he did not receive. All those items, he immediately announced, had been bumped to his birthday wish list. He’s a man with a plan.

“Mom…I’m working on the list that Grandpa and Grandma asked for. I’ve decided that you can buy me the Lego Republic Frigate ship because that one’s $120, and I think that’s too much to ask them for. I’m looking at a couple smaller sets for them to buy me,” he announced this evening.

“You’re right. You can’t ask your grandparents for a $120 Lego set. Be more reasonable.”

“Well, I’m still trying to build up my collection (keep in mind the kid probably has over 5,000 Lego pieces in our basement already) so I can make my YouTube video with the clones. I want it to go viral.”

“You want what to go viral, exactly?”

“The video I’m going to make with my Lego figures. To do the awesome battle scene, I’m going to need 3 to 5 of those Republic Frigate sets,” he informed me.

“What? You need 3 to 5 of those $120 sets? Are you crazy?”

“No. I’ve got it all worked out. See…you’ll buy me one set, and I’ll use some birthday money and my allowance to buy another set. Then, I’ll sell off the parts I don’t need to get money for the other sets I do need,” he explained.

“So, let me get this straight. You want to film a Lego action video for YouTube, and to get the pieces you need you’re going to take the $120 set we buy you for your birthday and sell off pieces to make extra cash?” I questioned.

“Exactly,” he answered.

“Would it make it easier for you if I just handed you $120?” I suggested sarcastically.

“No,” he replied in all earnestness. “I still need the frigate for my battle scene. I’ll just sell the extra figures on eBay for cash.”

“Luke,” I reminded him, “you don’t have an eBay account.”

He just looked at me like I was simple and sighed with annoyance. Apparently, some of us don’t appreciate the wisdom of his big-picture thinking.

But, it’s starting to make sense to me. A couple weeks ago Luke announced that he plans to move to Hollywood because he’s (and I verbatim quote) “all about being rich and famous.” He will own a studio where he will write, direct, and star in his own films. I asked him where he will get the money for all this. He told me he’ll get investors. Obviously, this is where Steve and I come in. He’s working the investor angle on us already with his Lego Republic Frigate scheme. Like I said, you’d best manage your pockets carefully when Luke’s pitching one of his ideas to you. The dang kid has just enough charm, vision, and charisma to clean out your entire wallet. Duck into an alley if you see him heading your way.


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