When I was a kid, and we were living in Vidalia, Louisiana, I loved to go to the Sterling store. Sterling was a "five and dime" store, or similar to Dollar General.
I remember that their sign over the front of the store was: 5¢ 10¢ 25¢ STERLING 25¢ 10¢ 5¢
That's the way I remember it looking anyway, in big red numbers and letters.
I liked Sterling because they had a few toys all year 'round. If Sainted Mother went there, then SCORE!, I got to look at a few cheesy toys while she looked at material or dress patterns or whatever.
Add to this, that Sterling had a candy selection that was second to none, AND a popcorn machine, and this little boy was always up for a trip to Sterling.
One day, I talked Sainted Mother into letting me buy a rubber snake. I remember it being a dollar, and guess what? I had a dollar!
As soon as I got it home, I immediately proceeded to stick it into everyone's face. They knew it was fake, but the human mind takes at least one zillionth of a second to register this, so I could usually count on a little jump of fright, if not a big jump.
I don't know how long Mom and Dad let this go on, probably only a day or two, but finally I scared Sainted Mother one too many times and got my seven year old butt spanked and my new rubber snake taken away.
But for some reason, Sainted Mother didn't throw the snake away. Looking back, it was only a dollar, which wasn't going to kill someone, even in 1970 dollars.
What did she do with the snake?
She put it under some clothes on a shelf up in her and Dad's closet, to hide it from me I guess.
Then she promptly forgot all about it.
Of course several weeks later, Big Brother and I were in the living room playing with our Hotwheels, and we heard Sainted Mother let out a blood curdling scream. This was a real horror movie scream, from the diaphram.
She was pushin' some air, I tell ya.
Big Brother and me run back to their room and there's my old pal rubber snakey there on the floor. Sainted Mother had pulled down some clothes off that shelf in her closet, and dropped the snake right onto herself and almost had a coronary.
I laughed so hard at her that she spanked me again.
Which seemed quite unjust at the time.
But, looking back with the perspective of a 44 year old, I realize that, over the course of my childhood, I probably needed a lot more spankings than what I got, so I figure I'm still on the plus side of the transgression/spanking scales of justice.