Dorchester, MA-1957. My Mom and I and Uncle Harold are taking a drive together.
But they're sitting in the front seat happily yakking and I'm miserable in the backseat feeling left out. I need attention. I'm only six, not that age has anything to do with it.
"I want Cracker Jacks!" I shout.
"We'll get you some, " they say without skipping a beat in their conversation.
"I want it now!" I scream. They pull over and Uncle Harold hops into a grocery store.
“They won't have it,” I mutter. He returns. No luck.
They drive to another store since they have no particular place to go. Another disappointment.
"I know!" exclaims Uncle Harold. He refuses to be discouraged. "The Franklin Park Zoo will have it!"
What? How could a zoo have Cracker Jacks? They're just trying to wear me out until I stop asking.
We arrive at the Zoo. Uncle Harold hops out.
He's gone a long while. What's he doing? Asking the monkeys where he can get Cracker Jacks?
He returns holding up both empty hands. And grinning as usual.
"See I told you!" I whine. "I knew they wouldn't have it!" Adults don't know anything.
"You were right," he says, still grinning. It's impossible for me to bother him. "They only had this."
From his back pocket, he pulls out and hands me a box of Cracker Jacks.
I was only six at the time but knew then and there that I had better learn to not jump to conclusions so fast if I didn't want to spend the rest of my life being a jerk.
To this day, I can honestly say that I remember that lesson - at least half the time.