Sunday, January 30, 2011

Liar, Liar, You Do NOT Use Contractions

As a child, I learned the phrase, "I didn't do it", as all children do.  I used it often.  However, most of the time, I was telling the truth.  There were also times that I used it when I was, in fact, the one that did it.  Yes, I ate the last banana and hid the peel behind the couch.  Yes, I ate an entire pound of grapes.  Yes, I MAY have played with hair spray and a lighter in my brother's room.  But they all soon learned how to read me...

When I was about 13 years old, my brother had a part time job at the People's Drug store.  Or was it Peebles?  Regardless, he worked there after school and on weekends.  Occasionally, he would bring home things that the store did not want or could not sell, like expired food or overstock.

In the several months following Halloween that year, he brought home approximately 100+ bags of Halloween candy.  The store had obviously over estimated their buyers purchasing power that year.  So all these wonderful bags of snack-sized candy bars made their way to my brothers room, where they sat on display across a long shelf.  The temptation was too great.  I took a bag of Reese's peanut butter cups for myself.  Oh, how good those forbidden treats tasted.  To top it off, my brother never noticed or suspected the loss.  Maybe I could take one more...or two...

Over the course of the next month, I took almost 30+ bags of candy off my brother's shelf.  He went about his teenage life, never noticing that his stash was now reduced by a third.  I hid the bags in the top of my closet, where I needed a chair to reach, and nobody would ever think to look there.  I didn't even know what to do with all of them.  I couldn't eat that much.  And then, I had another one of my brilliant ideas.  I would sell the candy to my friends.

I was born to be a salesperson. I took several different candy bars to school each day in my backpack.  I ate them in front of my friends, taunting them by opening one and taking a bite.  "Oh my gosh, these are SOoo good...".  And then the orders started pouring in.  I sold the candy bars for 25 cents a piece.  For about a month, I was known as the "go to" girl for candy during the day, and I was raking in the dough.  And then my big mouth got me in trouble.

I MAY have told one or two people where I got the candy.  And as I became smug in my selling abilities and hoards of money coming in, others became resentful of my success.  As I and my friends walked home from the bus stop, one of them shouted to my brother, who was standing in the front yard, "Ann's been stealing your candy and selling it at school!!"  Busted.

That evening, my family (all of them), sat in front of me and plainly asked, "Did you take Glen's candy?".  And I replied, "I did not do it."  They repeated, "Ann, did you take Glen's candy?", when they clearly knew the answer. But I stuck to my guns, "I did NOT do it"".  Although, once they had the candy in their possession, obtained from the top of my closet, I could not refute any longer.  My lie was out in the open, and was just as bad as the crime itself.

From that point on though, unbeknownst to me, everyone knew the telltale sign of my lies...I did not use a contraction.  They figured me out.  If I said, "I did NOT do it", they knew I lied.  Still, to this day, my family mocks and laughs at me about what a bad liar I am.  I don't even realize I do it.

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