Guest article by Le’Andre

It was the summer of 95 in the beautiful city of Stockholm (Sweden), I was 8 years old at the time and I was collecting hockey cards religiously. My older brother would buy tons of packs every month and I would get all of his leftovers which were mainly consisting of base cards, however I wasn’t disappointed I just loved collecting, looking at and admiring the cards.  Soon enough, it got to the point where I wanted to open a pack all by myself.  I wanted to be the one who pulled a great hit! So being the way I am, I asked my mother if she would like to buy me a few packs or even one…She brushed me off the way mothers do when they’re occupied by the television. I therefore decided to take matters into my own hands; I put on my slickest pair of jeans, my leather (Michael Jackson) jacket and last but clearly not least my Gretzky hat on…back to front! I felt like a real “bad ass”, and it was time to head to the mall.

I got to the local shopping mall and headed straight towards the sports shop with fire in my belly and a Gretzky insert on my mind! By the way I had no money on me…I guess you know what I was thinking! I entered the shop; I walked towards the packs and have a quick scan through them, while the packs were in my hands I got that exciting\tingly feeling that I still get to this day when holding cards! The Packs were shiny and had the old school candy blue color. I slowly put the packs underneath my belt and started to make my way out of the store. All kinds of thoughts were going through my head but the main one was definitely the Michael Jackson video “Bad” and of course me playing Michael (once again me as the “bad ass”). Suddenly as I strolled out, the alarm rang, with pure shock on my face I looked around the shop pretending I didn’t know who the culprit was. The security guards pulled me over and I burst out crying like a baby (no longer the “bad ass”).

My mother came to the shop, walked calmly towards the security guards and had a brief talk with them, and then we left the shop and headed for the car. What an unbelievable sigh of relief, I thought I was actually going to go prison for life at the age of 8 and a half! In the car my mom had a one of her most notable chats with me to date and she simply said ” If we were in Saudi Arabia they would  have cut off your hand (awkward silence) one for each time you steal “! Inevitably, I never stole again.

Word of advice; if anyone ever tries to rip you off in a deal make sure you warn them that you WILL cut their hands off…one for every time they rip you off. If it has the same effect as it did on me, they’ll tell themselves never again.

Till next time peace, love and hockey!