So, I was telling you about the pre-pubescent sociopaths next door, BUT. There is more.
"Mom," A. Peevie said, "Curly (formely known as A.Boy) took C.Peevie's game and M.Peevie's game, and he won't give them back."
I am starting to get tired of conversations that begin with, "Curly took..." or "Curly did..." or "Curly said..."
"How do you know Curly took them, A. Peevie?" I asked.
I just know, he insisted, so I suggested that he tell C. Peevie and M. Peevie to go to Curly and ask for the games back. Less than an hour later, he was back.
"Mom," A. Peevie said, his eyebrows crawling toward each other other below a line of worry on his forehead, "Curly gave the games back."
"Well, that's good, right?" I said.
"Not exactly," he said. "He said he found them in the grass. He lied, Mom. He stole them, and then he lied about finding them in the grass." The heartbreak of betrayal and disillusionment spread across A. Peevie's face. Again.
"Wait just a cotton-pickin' minute," I said. "He said he found BOTH games outside in the grass?" That was enough to trigger my inner closer, and I headed over to confront the little miscreant. He was standing on his porch next to his mother.
"Curly," I said, trying not to sound like a Guantanamo interrogator, "A. Peevie told me that we were missing two DS games, and that you found them in the grass. Is that right?"
"Uh huh," he agreed, looking away.
"Curly, look at my eyes," I said, "C. Peevie's game was missing, and you found it in the grass. M. Peevie's game was missing and you found it in the grass. You're telling me you found two game boy games in the grass?"
He looked into my eyes briefly, but couldn't hold his gaze there. "Yeah," he said, unconvincingly.
"Where did you find them?" I asked him, figuring that the more lies he had to tell, the easier it would be to trip him up.
It didn't work. "I found one over there by the street, but in the grass," he said, still not making eye contact, and pointing to the curb, "and the other one here, by the garden."
"Hmmm," I said. I looked at him. He glanced at me, and looked away. "Curly, are you sure you didn't borrow the games without asking, and then you said you found them in the grass because you wanted to give them back?"
"No," he said. "I didn't borrow them."
"OK," I said. I was out of gas, and my career as an interrogator was going down the toilet. But then his mom saved me.
"What do you say, Curly?" she asked him. I was a little taken aback. Why did she ask that question? But Curly fell into her inadvertent trap.
"Sorry," he said softly, looking at his shoes.
"What are you sorry for, Curly?" I said, my new career back on track. "Are you sorry that you borrowed the games without asking? If you tell me the truth, I won't be angry with you." Well, ironically, that last bit was sort of a lie.
"Yes," he admitted. Then we had a little conversation about not "borrowing" things without asking, and about if you do something wrong, you just make it worse if you lie about it. The fact that Curly could barely make eye contact during the whole conversation is a good sign, I think. Perhaps he is not (yet) a sociopath. But his mom better start taking this stuff seriously, or he is going to end up in jail whether he is a sociopath or not.
The most disturbing thing about this whole situation is that Mom was sitting there the whole time, and even at the end, she never said anything to me about her son stealing our stuff and then lying about it; and as far as I know, she never gave him any consequences for his antisocial behaviors.
And now I wonder if C. Peevie's mysteriously missing $80 baseball glove is upstairs in Curly's room.