One morning, long ago when I was in year 1 of infants school my friends and I were in the playground before class started. It was just like any other morning, running about being Ninja Turtles no doubt, cowabungering this, Kranging that. Then we found a cash register in the bushes.
We all froze mid Bebop. It was like we were all thinking the same exact thing… We’re rich! We were excited. We began discussing how much money we thought was going to be inside. $100’s? $1,000’s!?
We spent the next 15 minutes in deep discussions about how to split the money. I saw it first versus but your parents are already rich versus rochambeau. We were so caught up in our windfall that we hadn’t heard first bell go and everyone else had gone to class. The time we took deciding how to pull off our heist, or lack there of, raised suspicions and once the teacher noticed we were missing they came looking for us.
I can’t imagine what the teacher thought when she stuck her head into the bushes and saw us there, 4 boys standing around an opened cash register playing rock, paper, scissors over who gets stuck with the coins.
We got in trouble for not reporting what we’d found immediately. As if we were the ones who had in fact stolen it.
My poor, young mind went crazy thinking i’d be going to jail for it, for what exactly I have no idea, but I was terrified none the less (and this was before i’d seen HBO’s Oz).
So, instead of finding the cash register, reporting it to a teacher and being heroes we instead got greedy, got caught and were seen as criminals. Meanwhile our playground reputation went through the roof. We had all the girls, red frogs and handball squares we could handle. We lived like kings.
Now, the reason I called this post Why Kids are Dumb is because never mind the fact that no one steals a register only to leave it full of money. Or the fact that there is no way a 7 year old is being sent to prison for finding stolen goods (I mean, the kids in Stand By Me found a body and they didn’t get done for murder). Or the tiny, obvious detail that the cash register was clearly already pried open & empty. Just forget all that, we didn’t for a moment care, our dull child minds simply went: cash register in bushes = free money.