Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Short Story

After reposting that paper airplane story, I thought I'd share one of my favorites. This blog was intended for serious business—concentrating interests for an audience and all that. Whatever. (Which happens to be the name of a fantastic blog by John Scalzi.)

The Value of a Convincing Lie in Discovering the Truth

or How to outsmart a seven year old

I'd been suspecting that Andy wasn't eating his lunches for some time. However, whenever I asked him, he would always say he ate it. One day, just after Halloween, I made a very nice tuna sandwich on home-made bread. I also put in half a carmel apple, carrots and two pieces of Halloween candy. How could he possibly not like this?

When I got home from work, I asked Andy, "How did you like your lunch today?"

"Great! Fantastic!" he replied much too eagerly.

Hmm, suspicious. It wasn't pizza or anything he would normally consider great and fantastic. "How was the sandwich?"

"Really good. It had lettuce and the tuna was perfect," Andy said, intently watching his shoes and grinning like the cat who ate the canary.

Why that little shyster I thought! Out of the blue it came to me: "So how did you like the special surprise?"

"Huh? What surprise?"

"You know, the one in the sandwich." My wife, thinking she knows what's coming can hardly keep from laughing.

"Oh, the tomato. It was really good. I ate it all," Andy said, starting to show a little worry that this was getting complicated.

"So you didn't find the quarter?" I lied. His little head jerked up so fast it made his hair ruffle.

"A quarter?! You didn't put in no quarter!"

"Yes, I did. It was a test so that I knew whether you ate your sandwich. Can you believe you threw away a quarter?!" That got to him. Quarters still represent purchasing power to a seven year old—I suppose as long as video games take them.

Slowly he said, "You really put a quarter in my sandwich?"

"Sure did. You really didn't eat it, did you?"

He completely forgot about his lie. "Oh man, if I knew there was a quarter in it I wouldn't have thrown it away." Finally, we could talk about why he wasn't eating his lunch. All thanks to an imaginary quarter.


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