Mr. Hooper’s Handy Dandy General Store
(..a tall tale told too often these days)
Hey there mom and dad became so distraught one day when they found that their little loveable Larry had been hangin’ 'round and playing with Bobby, that brat from down the block. Bobby was one of those nasty little boys, not so much a bully but always up to something, you know bad. You’d told your little loveable Larry to steer clear of the likes of Bobby, but Bobby, that brat from down the block was you know, fun Bobby.
One day Bobby told Larry about a little game he’d been playing. He’d found the keys to the backdoor of Mr. Hooper’s Handy Dandy General Store. On Sundays when the folks were at church he’d go in, play with the hardware and leave with a handful of candies that would last him the whole week long. At first Larry didn’t like the sounds of this but you know, after a while, boys will be boys and boy it sure was nice havin’ all that candy.
Hey there mom and dad were so happy to hear one day that Bobby, that brat from down the block had moved out to Brooklyn. Little loveable Larry had made new friends and seemed a whole lot happier; oh how we love our little loveable Larry.
One day while picking up a lightbulb from Mr, Hooper’s Handy Dandy General Store, we noticed the likeable old coot was almost crying; “they’re stealing all my stuff” he sniffed ...oh that sad ol’ Mr. Hooper. He’d likely been hallucinating again as the old men do, thinking of the good ol' days when this used to be a bad bad neighbourhood, you know before the likes of all these hey there moms and dads had moved in and made the place their own, spruced it up a notch, or two.
Later that evening, while putting away the laundry you stumbled upon a secret stash. It would seem that little loveable Larry had himself a closet full of candy (and a whole chest full of hardware) too. “LARRY” you yelled but Larry was too busy flying & fighting the flickering images on the video-game box you’d bought him last Christmas… “LARRY, YOU GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW” you yelled again, and Larry came in a bounding ‘n a leaping in shock when he’d realized that you’d found… his stash.
After a lot of lying and a little crying you finally got the straight story of the keys that Bobby, the brat who used to live down the block had given up to your little loveable Larry… “it’s not my fault” cried Larry meekly; “it’s not my fault, I mean fun Bobby gave me the keys!”… Sigh… You looked your little loveable Larry in the eye, your little pride and joy; he trembled with fear as you struggled to make the decision how to punish the little wee one… And low and behold, just about when you were ready to make the call, ready to bring down judgement, the verdict, a versions of your dad’s ancient ‘n calamitous punishment upon your little Larry’s head, the thought occurred…
“...Larry…” “ya dad…”…you wouldn’t happen to have a Snickers Bar in there, you know, would you?”