“It would be really cool to be a robber, wouldn’t it?.”
We’re in the car, on our way home from dance class, and Big Brother is thinking out loud.
“When I grow up, I’ll be a robber. Then I’ll be rich. Right, Mummy?”
“Yep,” I say. “You’ll be rich right up until they put you in jail.”
He thinks for a minute and then says, “No, it’s okay. I’ll be a Good Guy robber. And first I’ll tell the police that I’m going to help them.”
I have to admit, I’m intrigued. But I don’t quite understand the difference between a Bad Guy Robber and a Good Guy Robber. “How do you be a Good Guy robber?”
“Well… I’ll only rob from Bad Guys.”
He pauses, and I let him work out his plan.
“Bad robbers only rob people at night. Because they’re bad. So I’ll wait until the morning when the Bad robbers will have to be asleep, and then I’ll sneak into their secret hideouts and I’ll steal all their gold and money and jewels and crystals.”
I can’t help it. I have to ask. “And what will you do with the money you steal?”
He doesn’t even hesitate. “I’ll give it to other people.”
Awww… That’s lovely. “Anyone in particular?”
I glance in the rear-view mirror to see him shrug. “Anyone who needs to money.”
“Okay,” I say. “That’s really nice. And you think the police will be okay with that?”
“Oh, yes,” he says confidently. “Because then I’ll sneak into the police station and I’ll tell them where the Bad Guy Robbers have their secret hideouts. And then the police can go and arrest them.”
“But they won’t arrest you?”
“No. I’m a Good Guy.”
I’m glad he’s got it all worked out. But there’s one thing I’m still confused about.
“So, let me get this straight,” I say. “You’re going to wait until morning–”
“So the Bad Guys are asleep,” he interrupts.
“–so the Bad Guy Robbers are asleep. Then you’re going to sneak into the bad guy’s hideout and steal all the money and jewels they’ve stolen from other people–”
“–and crystals. Sorry. Then you’re going to tell the police where to find the Bad Guys, and you’re going to give all the money away to other people. Right?”
“So how is this going to make you rich?” I ask.
He sighs. That long-suffering five-year-old sigh I know so well.
“Oh, Mummy. I’m going to give all the money away to people who need it. But I’m going to keep the crystals. You know, like diamonds and rubies and emeralds…”
“Do you understand now?”
Oh yes, I understand. But we may need to move to a bigger house to accommodate his Merry Men.
And his “crystals”.