(The “Cons” depicted throughout this series are intended for entertainment purposes only. Please do not attempt any of them yourself or with others. To do so may result in inconvenience, embarrassment, arrest, and imprisonment.)

It was a slow night at this particular restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There were a few stragglers sitting around the counter. A family of twelve, passing through on their way to St. Louis, were gathered at a corner table. Three teen girls sat in a booth near the exit.

The teen girls were picking at their salads and munching on a side order of fries. The one with dark hair giggled at the fry cook, who made faces while trying to decipher the waitress’s writings on the orders. The red headed girl, lazily twisted her fork around in her salad, with a bored look on her face that said she would rather be anywhere in the universe except there. The third girl, pretty, with long blonde hair and light blue eyes, slowly scanned the restaurant. If these girls were an outfit, the blonde was the brains!

Dark hair kept giggling.

“Will you just shush it,” the pretty blonde whispered, “you’re going to attract way too much attention!”

“Soorryyeee!” dark hair moaned.

“So when we gonna do this thing?!” red head lazily said.

“When I say so!” pretty blonde answered, as she once again scanned the restaurant. Everyone seemed to be pre-occupied. Even their own waitress, who was over by the buffet table, was busy flirting with the night shift manager. However, there was one person who gave pretty blonde some concern.

For over by the far corner of the counter, sat some older, scruffy looking guy, with dirty stringy long hair. He slowly sipped a soda and, every once in awhile, kept coyly glancing over the girl’s way! Pretty blonde didn’t know if he was watching them because he was suspicious or because he was some kind of weirdo! Maybe both!

Either way, pretty blonde calculated the best time to move! She decided it was now!

“Okay,” she softly said to redhead, “you go to the restroom. Count to twenty, then come out and walk straight out the door! Don’t look left or right! Don’t run but walk at a brisk pace! Okay?”

Red head just stared out the window and nodded.

Pretty blonde now addressed dark hair.

“After she goes to the restroom, you get up and just casually walk out the door. If anyone stops you or says anything to you, you just say your friend, and you point back my way, will take care of the bill, okay? Then just keep walking!”

Dark hair nodded.

Pretty blonde glanced around one last time.

“Okay,” she whispered, “wait. Wait.”

Just then, the family of twelve all got up to leave and headed towards the cash register to pay their bill.

“Now!” pretty blonde commanded.

Red head got up and went straight to the restroom.

Dark hair got up and walked toward the exit. Suddenly, a hostess appeared from behind the counter.

“Where you going?” she asked.

“Out,” dark hair replied, “for some fresh air. I feel sick! My friend will take care of the check!” She nervously motioned back towards the booth where pretty blonde sat.

The hostess glanced over to the booth, where pretty blonde looked at her and nodded. The hostess shrugged and started to clean the counter. Dark hair continued out the door, just as red head casually walked out of the rest room and followed her out the exit.

And just as the family of twelve walked by her booth, pretty blonde quickly got up and maneuvered her way within the crowd. She tried to blend in amongst five laughing, 6 to 10-year olds, two 11-12 year olds, a grandma and grandpa, and three middle aged adults, who went to the cash register. The hostess ran up to ring them up.

So, as the adults took care of their check, the kids, laughing and playing, their stomachs full of cheeseburgers and fries, continued out the exit with pretty blonde right behind!

She quickly wandered away from the kids and joined her two friends, as they stood outside the restaurant.

“That was awesome!” cried out dark hair.

“That was what we call a traditional ‘Dine and Dash’,” pretty blonde said, “now lets split this Popsicle stand and jet over to the grocery store. I need to pick up some items for my mom tonight!”

“Naw, I’m bored!” red head replied.

“Yeah, too much excitement for one night for me!” dark hair replied, “let’s go home!”

“You guys go ahead,” pretty blonde said, “I’ve gotta get some groceries!”

“Later days, then!” dark hair said, as she and red left.

Pretty blonde headed over to the local grocery store on the corner. As she walked across the parking lot, she noticed an old beat up car slowly drive by. She casually glanced at the driver, who looked a lot like the scruffy guy back at the restaurant.

She wondered, though, if she could of been mistaken. ‘A lot of guys around here look scruffy,’ she thought, as she continued on into the store. However, she did make a mental note to herself that when she left the store, she would definitely keep alert!

So as pretty blonde entered the store, she walked around and scoped out the customers. She spotted an elderly woman shopping by herself. Pretty blonde took a shopping cart and grabbed a few items she remembered her mom had told her to pick up. Bread. Milk. Cheese. She then walked over to the old lady, who was looking at some fresh eggs.

“Excuse me!” pretty blonde cheerily said.

“Yes?” the old lady answered.

“I know this might sound weird,” pretty blonde began, “but you look exactly like my grandmother. The spitting image!”

“Oh, really?” the old lady smiled.

“Yes,” pretty blonde continued, “I was very close to my grandmother, she died several years ago!”

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” the old lady said.

“So I was wondering,” pretty blonde continued, “oh, its so silly!”

“Wondering what, dear?” old lady asked.

“Well,” pretty blonde blushed, “if I could call you grandma? You know, just as I see you around the store, as we both do our shopping. It would mean so much to me!”

The old lady smiled, “Yes, of course! I don’t mind. I have a great-grand daughter about your age! So, of course you may!”

Oh, thank you, grandma!” pretty blonde said, as she hugged the old lady.

“You’re welcome, dear,” the old lady said, as she went back to egg shopping.

Pretty blonde smiled and continued on, picking up a few more items.

So every time she would come across the old lady in the aisles, she would call out, “Hi, grandma!” The old lady would wave and smile.

As the old lady finished her shopping and got in line at the check out counter, she noticed pretty blonde was already checking out in front of her.

“Hi, grandma!” pretty blonde called back.

“Hello, my dear!” the old lady smiled. Pretty blonde smiled back and said something to the cashier, who glanced over to the old lady and nodded.

As pretty blonde finished loading her groceries into the cart and started to leave, she once more called back, “Goodbye grandma, thanks!”

“You’re welcome, dear!” the old lady answered. But after her own groceries were rung up, the old lady was surprised that she had about an additional fifty dollars tacked on to her bill!

“That can’t be right,” she said to the cashier.

“Well, the total includes your items and your granddaughter’s items!” the cashier said.

“My granddaughter’s items?” the old lady asked.

“Yeah,” the cashier replied, “your grand daughter told me you would pay for her groceries when you got up to the register. She said “thanks” to you and you said she “was welcome” so I figured it was okay!”

The old lady just shook her head. “That little bitch!” she mumbled.

As pretty blonde pushed the shopping cart across the parking lot, the old beat up car, she had noticed earlier, quickly pulled up in front of her! A man got out! Pretty blonde immediately recognized him as, indeed, the scruffy looking dude back at the restaurant.

“Goin’ somewhere, blondie?” he asked.

Pretty blonde stopped in her tracks.

“You better back off, dishrag!” she said, “or I’m gonna start screaming!”

“Yeah, go ahead,” Scruffy replied, “alert the police. I’ll tell them about you running out on the bill back at that restaurant and I suspect you didn’t pay for half of the stuff you have in that cart! If you even paid at all!”

Pretty blonde just rolled her eyes. “Do what ya gotta do,” she said, “but buzz off! I’m leaving!”

“Then tell your mom I said hi!” Scruffy said.

Pretty blonde stopped again.

“You know my mom?” she suspiciously asked.

“Yep,” Scruffy replied, “I sure do! Very well.”

“Who..who are you?” pretty blonde suspiciously asked.

“Well, Clementine,” James Ford said, “I’m your father!”

Next: Chap. 2 “Daddy-O”

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