The Little Girl from the Pawnshop

By: Sam Speer

I felt as big as a mountain with the bolt cutters slung across my shoulders. Three weeks ago, when the summer had reached its solstice I had found them packed deep down in the trunk of my car. I uncovered them like an ancient artifact and swore I’d find a terrific use for them in a few days time, but uneventful weeks had passed and summer was drawing to a bleak close. I promised myself today would be different.

I dressed quickly in the clothes my mother had laid out for me and rushed downstairs to drink two gallons of water as quickly as humanly possible--all Dasani. I knew that it was important to stay hydrated in the summer. My neighbor’s dog almost bought the farm a few years back because they locked it outside for a few weeks without water. But it was only a couple days later after they returned that the dog contracted rabies and began terrorizing the neighborhood’s children. But no matter, I gave the dog a silent toast for the lessons he had taught me. I had finished my water, but something was still amiss. I panicked for a moment and then ran upstairs to grab my sweatbands. I couldn’t believe that I had almost forgotten them. I ripped my car keys off the counter and set my wheels in motion for a grand pleasure trip.

One thing was still left to be determined though, what to do with myself. I could go pick up chicks on the Plaza or go check out the new housing developments in the inner city, but instead I just opened my glove compartment and pulled out my last RC Cola of the summer. Like an elixir from a native American, an idea formed in my mind that was fit to seize the day. I finished my RC Cola with a final sip and a toast to D.H. Lawrence, turned off the radio, and set my eyes on the road.

I didn’t have to drive far to find my first victim. A stop sign at the edge of a boulevard shined brightly in the sun’s rays. Alighting from my car, I removed my bolt cutters and set to work. I clipped away at the stop sign until it was a triangle. A fit of laughter clutched my lungs as I pictured driver after driver mistaking the stop sign for a yield sign. Oh, this was too good to be true, I thought, and drove on to emasculate more and more stop signs.

Slaving away on my umpteenth sign, a police officer noticed my efforts. I was dripping with moisture and thrilled to have nearly saturated all of my sweatbands. The officer asked me what I was doing. I told him not to worry about it and he drove off. But five signs later two cop cruisers were hot on my tracks, but I had to do one more. I got to work, but knew I couldn’t finish when I saw bicycle cop staring down at me from the top of a hill. I ran to a house and rang the doorbell. A little girl came to the door. I gave her instructions to hold my bolt cutters and stand down on the comer of the street while I went in to use the telephone. She obliged and I laughed deeply for the first time of my callow existence. The cops arrested her and as she rode away in the car, her hand pressed against the window longingly, I felt badly, sort of.