96. Schoolboys Get Five-Finger Discount on Candy

Travis and Paul were best friends and in ninth grade. They didn’t like anything about school the girls and the baseball. They were both the junior high baseball team. Both wanted to major league baseball players when they grew up.

Thursday, baseball practice lasted for two hours after . After practice, Travis and Paul were hungry and . Between them, they had $2.05. There was a grocery store three blocks from the school.

“What we buy for only $2?” asked Travis.

“We split a soda and a candy bar,” replied .

“That’s going to be hard to do, since like orange soda and you like root beer,” Travis. “And I hate peanuts in candy bars you love them,” said Paul.

As they approached store, they were still thinking about their problem. solution, of course, was for one of them pick the soda and the other to pick candy bar. The problem with that solution would that one of them would still be thirsty the other would still be hungry.

“Wait a ,” said Paul. “I’ve got an idea.” They stopped, Paul told Travis his idea.

Mr. Cobb was store owner. He had no use for kids. were little people with little money. His eyes as he saw the boys approaching the store.

they entered the store, Travis walked over to big cooler that was filled with ice and . Paul walked over to the candy bar section.

. Cobb, you don’t have any orange soda,” Travis .

“Yes, I do. Just dig a little. You’ll one.”

Travis dug for a minute.

“I still ’t find one.”

“Are you blind? I’ll be right .”

Mr. Cobb started digging through the ice. Paul put two candy bars into his trousers’ baggy . He patted the pockets down a little bit.

! Orange soda! What did I tell you?”

“Thank , sir,” Travis said.

As Travis was paying for orange soda and the root beer, Mr. Cobb at Paul.

“You’re not buying anything?”

“No, sir. just wanted some sodas.”

“Then why were you at the candy bars?”

“Just to see if got any new brands, sir.” Mr. Cobb’s narrow got narrower as they moved slowly from Paul’s to his shirt, to his pants, and to shoes.

“If I ever catch you stealing from , I’ll chop off your hands, you hear me?” emphasis, Mr. Cobb reached down beneath the countertop pulled out a butcher knife, sharp and shiny.

boys were startled. They ran out of the .

“Come back here. You forgot your change!” Mr. yelled at them.