Burglar: (n) a person who commits burglary.
For the sake of maintaining the privacy of the individual, I shall refer to him as Mick.
At first Mick was reluctant to share his occupation, but then one night, in a very relaxed atmosphere, he told me that he was a burglar.
I was a little shocked.
First, I never envisioned this person in front of me to be that style of individual. But secondly, I was astounded that he was so forthcoming. He wasn’t ashamed to admit his burglary, but rather, went on to explain that he often found himself coming up financially short at the end of a month, and did not know how to make ends meet.
Because of this, he had often had his electricity turned off, his little son had gone without shoes and his wife had eventually left him.
So Mick decided to become a burglar, but one with a conscience. Here was the way he justified it to me: whenever he found himself a bit short of cash, he would go out and burglarize some old lady or old gent’s house, stealing only the few things he knew he could pawn, which would give him the cash to pay his bills to get him to the next paycheck. When the paycheck came, he took some of the money, went back to the pawn shop, bought back the items, and when he was sure the families were not home, he returned them in a box on the front porch with a typed note which read: “Sorry I had to borrow these. I was short this month.”
When Mick finished explaining this to me, I was simultaneously baffled and impressed. He seemed to have come up with a way to sin which had no immediate ramifications.
I had no idea what to say to him. I wanted to become moralistic, and suggest that stealing in any way, shape or form was wrong.
So I did what I often do in uncomfortable situations. I conjured an elongated clearing of my throat, followed by an anemic nod.