Truth, Consequences and Turn-About is Fair Play

   Written by on July 28, 2016 at 1:57 pm

logo - rural legends managementEvery week I write this column. Every week I confess, admit or own up to some event in my dull world. Every week I tell the truth with selective deletions, distortions and deviations. Meanwhile, apparently every week someone tells a story on me, about me or one that involves me. These stories usually have a kernel of truth to which I will sometimes happily confess. The remainder of these stories usually involve poetic license, creative misconceptions, mistaken identity, and sometimes vicious lies. There is at least one guy around here who collects these random stories and brings them to me for verification. The first time he asked, I agreed to give him three yes or no answers to any questions he had. This went on for over a year before he realized he was asking poor questions.

“Is it true,” he would ask, “that in your senior year you made good grades because you collected copies of tests from the trash can in the teachers’ lounge and sold them?” The answer is NO. In fact, the answer is no for many reasons. There are at least a half a dozen incorrect items in his question, any one of which would permit me to honestly answer no.

It is true, however, that in my junior year I removed mimeograph masters from the dumpster behind the school when I was emptying the trashcan from the copy room. It is also true that I used these masters to make duplicates of the tests, (on a mimeograph machine I purchased at a school surplus sale for $2.00) which I then gave to needy students. I did not personally use these duplicates, not only because it would have conflicted with my personal code of ethics but also because I had no interest in receiving good grades.

When I am not constrained to yes/no answers I have even more fun answering questions. “I know that story and it is true. It was one of my family,” or (my personal favorite), “It was one of my wife’s relatives by marriage.” Even though they don’t always claim me I am still a member of my family and nothing can change that. I am also legally Management’s closest relative and that certainly happened by marriage.  It is never my fault if someone misunderstands the truth.

As you know, Management has a few issues with my attending auctions. She believes I get carried away and buy things I do not need. She also has a theory that I get competitive and pay more than I had planned.

Of course she is correct. I often buy things I don’t need; however, some of these I want, some I may need later and others I plan on reselling for a reasonable profit. Although I frequently pay more than SHE thinks I should, I never go over my budget. In all fairness the thing that causes this misunderstanding is when there is something I need and want and it may be the only opportunity I will ever have to buy it. An example is our bed. It was at an auction. I liked it, Management liked it, it is possibly a one of a kind, we needed a bed and in 25 years had not found one we both liked.

Management planned on bidding up to $500 which was what we had in savings. I added to that money from bills I could postpone, projected income from sales of surplus stuff and a couple of hundred I could easily borrow, and bought the bed.

My theory was Management wanted it and Management should have anything she wants with the exception of a boyfriend or a different husband.

This year, as usual, we went to the Truckers Parade Against Cancer. Before the parade there is an auction to benefit the American Cancer Society. Folks bid with their hearts and bid high. In this auction three cakes sold for $1,000 each. One man bought a cake for five hundred dollars, donated it back and bought it again for another five hundred. The cheapest cake sold for $100.  This is certainly a case of people buying things they don’t need and paying more than they are worth and it is a good thing. I intend to use this information the next time I attend an auction, especially since Management bought a cake.

Leave a Reply