I awakened this morning with an ear-worm from back in the mid-1960s, an old tune by the Monkees called “I’m Gonna Buy Me a Dog”. Maggie, my Doberman, was staring at me hopefully to entice a game of happy-dot after woofing me awake with a cold nose in my right ear and that incessant song played through the sleep-fog search for house-shoes. My wife over-heard me singing this annoying ditty and thanked me profusely for the ear-worm and said that she thought I had never listened to the Monkees. In fact, I once owned their record album and learned almost every song on it and to prove this point, began singing “Last Train To Clarksville” followed by “I’m A Believer”. That proof enough for you, Honey? She claimed to have almost completed the poster from Monkey’s bubble-gum cards. This statement triggered a repressed memory of my life of crime and, given the safety of Statutes of Limitations has expired, feel that I must now confess to a crime that will finally close the cold-case file on “The Great Tom’s Peanut Candy Truck Robbery”.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com<img src=" /> The time was Fall, 1966. I was 10 years old, chewed bubble-gum, traded bubble-gum cards, and knew the words to all the Monkee’s songs. My peers all watched the Monkee’s TV show religiously. Davy Jones, Peter York, Mike Nessbitt, and Mickey Dolan were generational icons. There was a series of bubble-gum trading cards that pieced together to form a mosaic poster of the rock band in performance. Every kid at Oakfield Elementary School had a rubber-banded packet of their collectable Monkee trading cards but no-body had the completed set. To say that certain “Monkee cards” had great value by ten year old economic standards, was a gross understatement. I had fallen in with a gang of 10 year old desperados that roamed a wide area of Madison County between Iroquois Drive and Christmasville Road. We had won many a bloody dirt-clod and bb-gun war with rival gangs (The Murphy Clan) and , though there were no posters in the Post Office that clearly showed our faces, the Sherriff had been called on us at least once for cutting down trees to build a fort with on property that was owned by a citizen (Rachael Coffner’s dad). My gang consisted of me, my cousin Franky, and the Rogers brothers, Richard and Phillip. Most of our time was spent hunting squirrels and other small game or catching fish for the cook-pot in our tree fort but sometimes we would mount a raid on the new sub-division to gather foraged lumber and nails or maybe a sheet of plastic to add to our fortifications. We had learned to trick the vending machines outside the slot-car track building in Hicksville and get free candy bars in a weekly excursion during Friday night camp-outs. We had rafts on the lake and ponies to ride and bicycles modified to jump canyons, at least the West Tennessee variety of canyon (drainage ditch). We had begun making exploratory trips to a warehouse area where step-vans belonging to Tom’s Peanuts were loaded each day for deliveries to local markets the following day. Yes, there were entire truck-loads of candy, peanuts, and entire cases of Monkee trading card bubble-gum. There was no real security, not even a fence to prevent us from climbing all over the vans in case someone forgot to lock one. Finally, one of the gang discovered that a branch inserted through the air vent on the front quarter panel would reach the door latch and open it. We loaded improvised back-packs made from our shirts with boxes upon boxes of treats and I had the first complete Monkee Trading card poster, in fact, I had four of them. I never quite got over the guilt of this bold brazen robbery and as a result, dissolved the Iroquois gang and vowed never to enter into a life of crime again. I am now 55 years old and haven’t recalled that chapter of my life in 45 years until this morning and I feel like I must make amends. I gave away all of Monkee trading cards to pretty girls that I had crushes on and the gum is long-since stuck to the under-side of school desks so all I have left to give is this song: You know my girl just called me up And she woke me from my sleep You should have heard the things she said You know she hurt my feelings deep. I'm gonna buy me a dog [A dog, a dog! Why?] 'Cause I need a friend now. [Say, you need all the friends you can get] I'm gonna buy me a dog, My girl, my girl, don't love me no how. She used to bring me my newspaper 'Cause she knew where it was at. She used to keep me so contented. But I can teach a dog to do that. I'm gonna buy me a dog, 'Cause I need a friend now I'm gonna buy me a dog, My girl, my girl, don't love me no how.