Colton Harris-Moore's Sad Childhood Explained in Two Sentences

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If you want to know how Colton Harris-Moore went from a foraging island ne'er do well to an international fugitive, you can't do any better than Vernal Coleman's November cover story, "Catch Me If You Camp." But if you're just too busy to read a well-nuanced, deeply-reported feature and want to drill down into the nitty-gritty of the "Barefoot Bandit's" psychosis in less time than it takes to say "mommy issues," then check out these two sentences from the New York Times.

The scene is Harris-Moore's ratty house on Camano Island. The boy is 12, his father has long since run off and he's just been arrested for the first time.

Enter the social worker, attempting to take a rough sketch of the young boy's home life:

"Colton wants Mom to stop drinking and smoking, get a job and have food in the house," the report said. "Mom refuses."
Ernest Hemingway may have famously created the first six-word short story -- "For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn." -- but I'll be damned if this nameless social worker didn't just out-do Papa Bear by writing the world's first 19-word novel.
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