The Bear teaches 6th grade in an inner-city neighborhood. When the Phoenix Suns really suck, they pad the house by giving away tickets to poor kids.
“Now don’t spend too much,” the Bear said to the Boy. “These kids don’t have much, and we don’t want to embarrass them. I told each one to bring some money for snacks… but they probably can’t afford it.”
We sat up so high, I could touch the ceiling. We were in the only section that had to look down at the “big screen” scoreboard that is attached to the roof.
I didn’t have time to eat lunch or dinner and it was getting past 7 p.m. In the first quarter, the Boy and I split a small soda and a tiny fry, ($8 or so). We didn’t want to show off in front of the kids.
But every fucking 5 minutes, the Bear and a few kids disappear. They come back with burgers, pizza and big ass fucking cookies. (That’s right Pussy Joe, these kids finished every crumb of their cookies.)
By the 3rd quarter, the Boy and I can’t take it anymore. When the Bear leaves, we started stealing fries from Alejandro and his little sister. They don’t seem to mind — they didn’t look to fucking hungry to me.
But we still felt guilty. I told the Boy, “Grab ’em quick, so Jesus doesn’t see.”
By the 4th quarter, the trips get more frequent. The boys are coming back with little stuffed Phoenix Suns Gorillas, and the girls have pom-poms and hats and some other shit.
Everybody has a prize (or 2), except the Boy and I. When I went to the gift shop, that prize shit was $25 or more — each. Holy shit.
When everyone else is gone, I asked the Bear, “I thought you said all these kids were poor? Every one of them had a Gorilla and more food than I could eat. Where did they get all the money?”
“Ohh honey,” she cooed. “That wasn’t their money, that was your money.”
She had been taking each kid “shopping” with our credit card…
Well, at least I didn’t have to feel guilty about stealing those fries. No wonder Alejandro didn’t say shit.
Don’t worry Jesus, you can look now.