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Essence of Packrat and Black Cigarette Lighter Personality Disorders: The Klepto
(Excerpted from an e-mail to a friend)

The black cigarette lighter you ripped off is not mine. You owe me no apology.

But it pains me to learn that you have kleptomaniacal tendencies.

Still, I guess I should always be gratified to learn the truth, no matter how repugnant it might be.

I know how much stress you've been under and I'm sure that could be a mitigating factor. So, rather than condemn you, I wish to be supportive and suggest you look into joining a support group for kleptos, petty thieves, cat burglars, and other such dregs of society.

I called around to find out what kinda support is available.

There's a group in Indianapolis, on the westside, called Kleptos Anonymous. It's a 1-step program. (The group leader I talked to on the phone explained that the other 11 steps had mysteriously disappeared after a meeting one night last October. Police dusted for prints and interviewed all the usual suspects. But as of yet, she said, the missing 11 steps have not been recovered, nor have replacements been sent by the home office of Kleptos Anonymous International in Zurich, Switzerland.)

And now, Buffy m'Dear, imagine this scene, if you will:

  FADE IN:

1 INT. KLEPTOS ANONYMOUS GROUP MEETING ROOM - NIGHT     1

  CU: BUFFY introduces herself.

                       BUFFY
            Hi, my name is Buffy and
            I'm a klepto.

                                                  CUT TO:

  COVER SHOT: Buffy is standing at a podium, addressing
  the seated (and seedy) GROUP OF ANONYMOUS KLEPTOS.

                       GROUP
                (in unison)
            Hi, Buffy. Welcome. Please
            don't rip us off.

                                                  CUT TO:

 XCU: Buffy's eyes reveal her fear and deep shame.

                                            FADE TO BLACK


If you're too ashamed to attend meetings, I found out what the 1 remaining step is: Stop doing that! Abide by that admonition and maybe, just maybe, you can redeem your Karma.

But back to the black lighter.

Apparently you stole it from some other poor, innocent, and unsuspecting schmuck.

You pinched his lighter and, perhaps, he couldn't bum a light from anyone for the remainder of his workday; he went into nicotine withdrawal, became totally unhinged, and committed some needless act of the most barbaric and heinous sort of workplace violence. One more tobacco-related fatality, maybe more. I'll be checking the media for this story. (I know you sometimes use flower essences and other such potions. You didn't use any "Essence of Packrat" recently, did you? If you did, that could be another mitigating factor your lawyer could use in your legal defense if you are charged with Grand Theft Lighter and, then, subsequently implicated as an accomplice in the murder(s) and/or mayhem committed by the unfortunate sap whose lighter you copped.)

Please don't embarrass me by thanking me for all this support and information. I'm just trying to be helpful. I truly wanna help you get through this klepto thing. Just knowing that I had some slight role in your recovery will be thanks enough.

Later, Bro. Dave

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