Steal. It’s okay.

We used to play a game during recess at good old Our Lady of Mercy. But first I have to explain the recess process that was used at our grade school. Our recess happened with lunch time. Everyone was pushed out the doors, and onto the blacktop parking lot behind the school. Mercy was in Dayton, and there were no grassy areas on which to play.

So, all of us were out there in our little Catholic uniforms, hot or cold, rain or shine, unless the weather was severe. From there, we would eat in shifts which was timed out by grade. When it was your turn to eat, your homeroom teacher would appear by the wooden double doors and raise her hand in the air, like the flag of our little country. Everyone in your class would sprint to the door and line up. You’d filter through the cafeteria line, pack your tray with food, and then clean every last bite of that food from your plate. Once the task was completed, you were ordered back outside for the remainder of the recess/lunch time.

Now back to the good games. My favorite game was called “Steal the Bacon.” One of us would take off an item of clothing to become the “bacon” in the game. The article typically came from a kid who had worn a sweater that morning, and was easily manipulated into sacrificing their clothing for the competition. Teams were drawn. You’d line up several yards away from the bacon. Each of you were given a number. And when your number was called, you ran to the center, trying to grab the bacon before your opponent (with the same number) did. Then you’d run like hell, back to your camp to win the point. If your opponent caught you, they got the point.

I loved this game, probably because I was one of the best players. I was the tomboy-iest of them all. I could beat the boys in most anything. Yes, one of my early life blessings was my athleticism.

But when your “number” was called, you never knew who you would face. (And after all the numbers ran through once, you would get a new number). So sometimes, you’d face off with a less than worthy adversary. I’d run out there, and my opponent wasn’t even half way out to the bacon. I used to wait, and tease them a little bit, before snatching that rolled up sweater, and running back home to win the point.

Sometimes things were more evenly matched. But I can’t remember losing at that game. I was Queen of Steel the Bacon, I think. There were a few girls that played. But mostly we were outnumbered by the boys. The game was won or lost by your steal-the-bacon-ability.

It was a randomly decided balance of fairness. Sometimes, the game was heavily favored in your individual game. But the overall team schematic usually balanced out.

That win or lose.

Life seems a little like this at times. There are many occasions when justice seems served. Fairness wins. On the other hand, there are many incidents that portray an out-of-kilter favor for one side or the other.

I’m thinking of headlines. Like the bus driver who raped a 14-year-old girl and only got probation.

Or the other day, when a terror-plot was foiled by our U.S. Law Enforcement, and the group they saved were White Supremacists.

Don’t even get me started on the political lies which are thrown about every day without as much as a blink of the eye.

Often times, it would appear that the “bacon” is being stolen right out from under our noses. And we keep hoping someone on OUR team will eventually pick up the slack.

But this isn’t recess. The bell isn’t going to ring, and we don’t get to go inside and forget about today’s game.
Somebody needs to get Bobby’s sweater back.


“The world isn’t fair, Calvin.”
“I know Dad, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?”
― Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes


“Nothing is fair in this world. You might as well get that straight right now”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees


“How do you stop those who will stop at nothing?”
― Battle in Seattle Film