Pssst, do you want a chocolate bar? This is the kind of banter that piqued the interest of this four year old. I don’t know who was the mastermind, but apparently the plan was for my three older brothers to kidnap me and demand a ransom for my return in the amount of four chocolate bars. Our mother was to be the payer. My brothers tried to sell it so well. “It will be so much fun” they said. “You do like chocolate don’t you?” they added. The answer was yes, of course, but an insurrection against mom made me feel very uneasy, even at the age of four. I generally trusted my brothers, except perhaps for the time that they packed me in box, or taught me that my name in Spanish was “El Stupedo”, but I was quite loyal to my mom. I went along, swept up in the emotion of the mob, but with much trepidation.

We, all four of us, locked ourselves into the bathroom and made a commotion. I was instructed to make pained, groaning noises. We heard mom come to the door. I felt my enthusiasm for the plot fade, and then the note was slid under the door. “If you ever want to see David again, slide four Hershey’s chocolate bars, unmarked, under the door.” After a few tense moments, I could hear mom trying to muffle her laughter. I was so relieved… Or then was I? This raised a new and unexpected question. Anyway, on mom’s return, we could hear a lot of scratching at the bottom of the door. Damn! The chocolate bars wouldn’t fit under the door. Who missed this important detail? After much negotiations, it was agreed upon that we could unlock the door and open it ever so slightly in order to receive the ransom payment. Mom went away and the victim was later returned, unceremoniously, in my opinion.