I went into a convenience store and purchased three things:
1. A can of "fix a flat" as Heather's car may have a slow leak in one of her tires;
3. Five (5) one-dollar scratch off tickets.
Now, in our family, scratch off tickets are purchased for special occasions only. We put them in the Christmas stockings, under the plates at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in birthday cards. Beyond that, we consider it a waste of money, and other than an occasional dollar, it isn't something we generally do outside of holidays. At holiday time, it is, however, a lot of fun.
I was at the counter, waiting for the clerk, staring at them, thinking whether or not I paid a particular bill. As I struggled to remember if I had, in deed, mailed out that bill or not, I asked for a scratch off ticket. It must have been the "Win $2,000 Instantly!" that caught my eye, just as I was lightly fretting about bill paying. (How's that for an imperfect storm?) I asked for a scratch off ticket.
"How many do you want, sir?"
I wasn't expecting that. I asked for "a" scratch off ticket, singular.
Without missing a beat, I said,
"Five, please. Give me five losing scratch off tickets." The clerk smiled.
I like to make clerks, waiters, waitresses and those who work in the Drive Thru windows smile a bit, when I can. Life is tough enough without sour customers. Plus, I don't want anyone spitting in my coffee.
When I got into the car, my son, eyeballing the scratch off tickets as if it was Thanksgiving, said, "Dad?"
"What are you going to say about these?", he asked.
The phone rang.
It was my chance to have some fun. The caller ID: "Heather" calling on my cell. I handed the phone to Sean:
"Say this, son: say, 'Dad bought you a can of fix a flat for your car and filled your gas tank and he bought nothing more" and see what she says."
Sean smiled slightly; that knowing smile shared between a father and son when they are about to pull a fast one one mom that both of them know mom will not fall for.
Yet, still, he had to wonder: Would she catch us in our little game of deception?
Would Heather recognize our attempt to deceive?
"Uh, hi. Dad told me to tell you that he bought a can of fix a flat for your car, and got you gas, and nothing more."
Heather doesn't miss a thing.
"Sean, tell Dad I said 'thanks' for the fix a flat and the gas. Dad knew I needed that.
"I will", said Sean, sounding a bit disappointed.
Heather than said, "Sean, what else did your father buy?"
Sean's smile on his face widened at this point.
"Uh, what do you mean? He told me to tell you that he bought the can of fix a flat, and gas for your car, and that he bought nothing more."
Heather said, "Seanny, its not possible to buy 'nothing'. What else did he buy?"
Sean said, "But that's what Dad said!" Even while joking, Sean will not lie. He even struggles at Christmas time when we are deliberately trying to deceive in fun, while buying presents one for another.
He held the phone away and said, "She got ya, Dad!"
Of the five scratch off tickets, we won $1. We spent $5 just to lose $4.
However, Sean learned a good lesson:
Don't even try to deceive.