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BOTD 12/11/13 "But We Paid For It" A Late Cat Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
BUT WE PAID FOR IT
A Late Chat Production

It is two weeks before Christmas.  Your mother always sends your two sons, eight year old Mark and eleven year old Luke, money to get a Christmas gift.  The money arrived yesterday and the boys plan to combine their funds to buy a video game they have been wanting.

Today your family is volunteering at your church's toy drive.  You all will be organizing and wrapping gifts.  Your sons enjoy helping to wrap gifts.  There is time before the volunteer project for some shopping.  You need to buy a toy for the drive and Mark and Luke want to buy their game.  You go to four different stores and the video game that the boys want is sold out everywhere.  Clerks at all four stores say they do not expect to have any until after Christmas.  You encourage the boys to save their money and buy the game when it is back in stock after Christmas.  You all head on to the toy drive.

As Mark and Luke are wrapping gifts they see the game they want - the one that is not available anywhere.  The boys talk privately and decide to "buy" the game.  Luke slips the game in a backpack he was carrying while Mark takes their money and puts it in the donation box.  The boys continue to work but are excited to have the new game.

When you all get home the boys start playing the game.  You notice it and ask where it came from.  The boys explain how they saw the game at the drive and bought it.  The game is now opened and in use.  You tell the boys they stole the game and that they are in trouble. They protest saying, "But we paid for it."

You send Mark and Luke to wait in their room while you calm down and think about how to handle the matter.  Yes, the boys are subject to spanking if needed.


MARK - 8 & LUKE - 11 (Awaiting your decision)
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How will you handle the matter?


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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I must put aside my anger and try to see this from the boys' point of view. By their logic, they didn't steal the game. We do need to have a long talk about why what they did was nevertheless inappropriate. I think I can make the boys understand by asking if them if it would be okay for some stranger to "buy" their most prized possessions without their agreement. They also need to understand that the children who benefit from a toy drive may not have any other opportunity to get some prized game or toy unless it comes through donation. I won't spank them. I will undoubtedly spend a great deal of time in the next few days trying to find a new copy of the game to replace what the boys "bought".

Kat

Stone Man


Marshall
I would let the boys know that this was not the way to get the game they so very much wanted, but I can understand their reasoning that it was a purchase and not stealing to them.

The only reason this would be a real problem is if the game was purchased to fulfill a specific request for it by one of the children being provided gifts. If that is the case, than the game will be retrieved and wrapped as best as it can be for the intended child and my boys can wait until later to get one for themselves.

I don't see this as an offense where a spanking will do any good.

ivor


Marshall
Assuming the game in question is new and provided they paid the price they would have paid in store (or close to) I can't see they have really done anything wrong.

Although maybe not exactly the same, when I have been involved in charity sales in the past it was accepted practice for the helpers to have first pickings while sorting through and displaying the goods.

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Padraig


Trailboss
I can understand their point of view, but obviously they knew something wasn't right or they wouldn't have hidden the game.

Jack


Admin
At 8, Mark gets a pass on this. At 11, I think Luke should probably have known better. (In real life, both opinions could change, based on my knowledge of the boy that I would have developed over the years).

Both boys are going to get a thorough lecture about why what they did was wrong, and Luke will be getting a spanking. Mark is probably going to be getting a light spanking, as much for solidarity as anything else.

When the spanking is over, we're going out to find a toy to make up for the missing number, and it will be turned in, wrapped, and apologies and explanations will be made. The boys will be paying for this gift out of their future earnings.


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Jack


Admin
ivor wrote:Assuming the game in question is new and provided they paid the price they would have paid in store (or close to) I can't see they have really done anything wrong.

Although maybe not exactly the same, when I have been involved in charity sales in the past it was accepted practice for the helpers to have first pickings while sorting through and displaying the goods.

Ivor, I understand your point. To me, the problem is that these were being gift wrapped, which means the charity was probably providing gifts to a certain number of children, and now they're a gift short.

At my two big stores, we do something called 'Angel Trees', which is where families fill out questionnaires in the fall. Paper angels are filled out with a list of the child's clothing sizes, needs, and most wanted gifts, and people select these, make the purchases, and return it, where they're wrapped and given to the family, for the child to open Christmas morning.

From the scenario, I think this is where the family in the scenario was working.


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ivor


Marshall
I would agree that if the toys had been bought specifically then there can be no question they have done wrong. I interpreted 'toy drive' to mean the church was simply seeking toys which would then be gift wrapped and handed out.

I'd also have to admit the pair hiding it rather than gleefully coming up saying "Daddy, look what we've found. We're going to buy it" does indicate a degree of deception.

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MemoryMan


Sherrif
I don't really see how, in the circumstances, the boys did anything wrong.  If individual name tags were being put on the toys as they were wrapped that would have been a different matter, but they weren't.

The boys paid for their game.

They slipped it into their bag without finding and asking me.  I might have said No - but then that's what boys do.  

When we got home they made no attempt to hide the game and played it openly.

If the organisers were a toy short sufficient money was in the box to replace it, but they would have been strangely inefficient organisers if a few spares hadn't already been built into the distribution system.

It was an innocent mistake and I will point out to the boys that they should asked the organisers before they bought the game and that in future that is what they MUST do.

Happy Christmas boys.  rendeer  This is one of those occasions where your good deed has brought you a material reward.

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Stone Man


Marshall
On a more pleasant note... I wish this was a "Good Boy" episode as those little feet and toes are fairly screaming out to be tickled! rendeer 

1strappedboy


Sherrif
As long as they have honestly put full retail price into the charity's 'kitty', they have paid for it fair and square in their eyes. There won't necessarily be a spanking for this unless I receive 'tude from them.

They have the game and they gave the cost thereof to the charity in question, so we are now on equal footing. Now, what are we going to do to 'give' to the kids we were supposed to be helping? How about I 'pay forward' your next 2 weeks' allowance to those less fortunate than you? I believe that to be a fair contribution for the boys to give as well as a sufficient loss to them as to feel they have truly given to the cause as well as a reminder to them of what it's like for some to be financially lean/in a bit of want. Especially so, for my kids, it's good to remind them that not everyone has a life where everything is available for the asking!

squarecutter


Sherrif
1strappedboy wrote:As long as they have honestly put full retail price into the charity's 'kitty', they have paid for it fair and square in their eyes.  There won't necessarily be a spanking for this unless I receive 'tude from them.

They have the game and they gave the cost thereof to the charity in question, so we are now on equal footing.  Now, what are we going to do to 'give' to the kids we were supposed to be helping?  How about I 'pay forward' your next 2 weeks' allowance to those less fortunate than you?  I believe that to be a fair contribution for the boys to give as well as a sufficient loss to them as to feel they have truly given to the cause as well as a reminder to them of what it's like for some to be financially lean/in a bit of want.  Especially so, for my kids, it's good to remind them that not everyone has a life where everything is available for the asking!

I'm a bit baffled by all of this. Butt I think I take this line . It seems to me the boys may be technically correct but not entirely in the spirit as they put themselves first so in fact there is a little more to pay. I am sure they will consider being in posession of the much prized game will be worth it.

Pi Beta


Deputy
I've mused over this rather longer than usual. To the boys, they have paid for the game and I feel I have to accept their boyish reasoning, so no spanking. However, putting the money in a donation box in the church doesn't mean that their money goes back to buy toys for this charitable project - it will almost certainly be subsumed into normal church expenses - heating, lighting, salaries etc with, perhaps 10% only going into outreach charitable activities.

Once I've explained this to them, I'll ask them if they feel that they have truly paid for the game. I expect them then to accept that really it wasn't properly obtained and that they should have asked me or the organisers for permission to "buy" it. We will try to find the game elsewhere, but if we can't, we'll find a suitable substitute game to wrap and put into Santa's bag (or whatever the distribution system is).

Jack


Admin
squarecutter wrote:I'm a bit baffled by all of this.

Reading back over the original scenario, I can see where I was maybe reading more into it (based on my experiences) than might really have been there.

I think a lot of the 'real' reaction, if this had been your kids, would come down to what type of charity it really was (as well as the history of the boys). This is one of those cases where people's differing reactions probably says a lot about them.


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MemoryMan


Sherrif
Its an interesting thought that bearing in mind the intended destinations of the toys it is unlikely that many, if any, of the recipients would be in possession of the necessary hardware to play the game.  

By their "purchase" my boys may have saved an excited impoverished child from the disappointment of peeling open a useless toy.  Also their contribution could have funded the purchase of two simple toys.

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ivor


Marshall
That is a very good point, MM

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Jack


Admin
MemoryMan wrote:Its an interesting thought that bearing in mind the intended destinations of the toys it is unlikely that many, if any, of the recipients would be in possession of the necessary hardware to play the game.  

By their "purchase" my boys may have saved an excited impoverished child from the disappointment of peeling open a useless toy.  Also their contribution could have funded the purchase of two simple toys.

It's a good point, but 'poverty' is a relative term (and also consider that they might be on the list only this year, because of business closings and layoffs). However, I have seen many of the cards for various kids asking for things like video games - though usually it's not the hottest game, but something for an older system.


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John Boy


Sherrif
Jack wrote:At 8, Mark gets a pass on this.  At 11, I think Luke should probably have known better.  (In real life, both opinions could change, based on my knowledge of the boy that I would have developed over the years).  

Both boys are going to get a thorough lecture about why what they did was wrong, and Luke will be getting a spanking.  Mark is probably going to be getting a light spanking, as much for solidarity as anything else.

When the spanking is over, we're going out to find a toy to make up for the missing number, and it will be turned in, wrapped, and apologies and explanations will be made.  The boys will be paying for this gift out of their future earnings.
I will Ditto Jack.

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