Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Tick-Tock; The Game is Locked


Ever notice how many people think their way is THE way. They don’t just think it should be the way, they think it is the way.

Example: (I hope he doesn’t mind.) Brother Jeffrey did a great job of grilling chicken for the work celebration of Dad’s birthday. He made us some darn good food. We had some leftovers, so naturally we kept them to eat later in the week for lunch.

A couple of days later, it surprised him to learn the white meat was all gone and we had only dark meat left. He thought the dark meat would be all gone.

Because he likes dark meat best and thought most other people would, too.

Fast forward a few months. I watched part of a documentary while waiting for a movie I wanted to see to come on. In the doc, this guy goes to Canada and asks everyone he meets if they lock their doors.

“No,” is the answer every time. He even checked it out by going to a few houses and opening the door. (Oops, sorry about that folks. Just checking to see if your door was locked.)

That shocked me, because I’ve always locked my doors. I thought everyone did.  (Kinda like Jeffrey and the dark meat, huh?)

When G-Man and I first married, we moved to a new town. I remember lying in bed, several nights in a row, and asking, “Did you lock the door?”


I couldn’t stand it. “Are you sure?”

He was silent for a l-o-n-g moment. “If you don’t believe me, go check.”

He did.

I thought back even farther. When I was a kid, had my family lock their doors?

I think so. I know when I was in high school, if I came home after everyone was in bed, I had to slam the front door (so it would stay shut, and probably to tell the folks I was home) and then lock it.

So yeah, once my fam moved to C-Town, we locked the doors. I wasn’t sure about when we lived in Old ‘Ford, though. So the first time I got the chance, I asked Dad, “Did you guys lock your doors at night when you were a kids?”

“Oh, no.” Then, he laughed. “I remember one time, someone came into the house in Old ‘Ford after we were all asleep.”

Did they raid the kitchen and eat the inside of the cake like Paul and Frank did when they were kids? 

Instead, I kept quiet and listened.

“Who ever it was came in and stole Daddy and Frank’s pants.”

Wow. Of all the things I could think of to steal out of the house they’d lived in, men’s pants were the last. I could have understood if someone had stolen food from the kitchen or Grandmother’s purse. But Granddad and Uncle Frank’s pants?

“Why?” I asked.

“Theirs weren’t the only pants stolen, either. Whoever it was went all over town, probably twenty or thirty houses, stealing the men’s pants. They got them back though. Someone found them all outside of town in a field.”

That really puzzled me. “Was it a practical joke? Why would anyone do that?”

“To get their wallets and change and other stuff they left in them when they took them off,” Dad explained.

Someone with a devious mind figured things like Jeffrey and me. Because the bad guy left his wallet in his pants when he took them off at night, he figured everyone else did, too.

So he crept in where men and women and children were sleeping after a hard day’s work, found where the men left their pants and swiped them. I’m only surprised he didn’t take women’s purses, too. Why stop with only men’s britches?

I wonder how many times he found wallets left in pants and how many times he came up empty? After that, did most men stop leaving their wallets in their pants?

And, when did most people in Oklahoma started locking their doors?


Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

9 thoughts on “Tick-Tock; The Game is Locked

  1. My family always locked their doors, but they moved here from Cleveland, Ohio. In the big city, they ALWAYS lock their doors.

  2. WHITE MEAT!!!! I thought you always ate dark meat because that was all that was left when the plate got to you, Jeff!

  3. We didn’t lock the door to our house in the old town of Mannford. I do remember when Daddy told us it was time to start locking the doors in the late ’50s. The reason was that there were people coming into town that we didn’t “know” to start working on the dam, so he felt it would be more safe to have a locked door. With all the old skeleton keys around, it probably wouldn’t have been hard to open our locked door, though.

    • Sharon,
      The ’50’s were a fantastic time to grow up, weren’t they? Imagine feeling so secure you didn’t bother to lock up at night was a wonderful thing.
      Says a lot about the direction our morals have gone, doesn’t it? Too bad our kids didn’t get to experience those golden days.

I'm so glad you dropped by my Small Town World! Hope you'll leave a comment. I really enjoy hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s