Oh, hi! Can't play with ya right now, gotta do these dishes. Yeh, ALL the dishes in the cupboard. Wanna sit and watch while I do them? It's gonna take awhile. Why am I doing all the dishes in the cupboard? I'm being punished. I agree with you. I probably should call that child protection place. There must be a law against eleven-year-old boys doing piles of dishes. Why am I being punished? Well, it's a long story but looks like I've got plenty of time to tell it to you. Pull up a chair.
It all started last week. Mom called me and my sister into the house. She was wringing her hands and had a big frown on her face. That vein on the right side of Mom's head was bulging which is never a good sign.
Mom sat us on the couch while she stood directly in front of us, hands on her hips and her left foot keeping time to the angry beat in her voice. "I know one of you took the pop bottle out of the frig," Mom said. "I want the guilty party to fess up."
I looked at my older sister, Dee, with narrowed eyes and mouth turned up in an accusing sneer; Dee looked at me with the same sneer. Neither of us said a word. I wasn't about to confess to something I didn't do.
What's that? Why such a big fuss over a stupid bottle of pop? Well, you know, we're not, well, we don't have a lot of, uhm, we're, uhm, like super poor! Okay? I don't know where Mom got the pop but we hardly ever have stuff like that. It was a real treat and there were six bottles of pop, one for my four sisters and me and my mom.
"I know one of you took the bottle of pop. I'm going to stand here until one you comes clean with the truth," she said.
"Well, it wasn't me, probably Dopey here did it!" Dee yelled, folding her arms across her chest and sticking her tongue out at me. Such a drama queen.
"Jared, did you steal the pop?" Mom asked.
"No, ma'm. I drank my strawberry pop yesterday and that was all," I told her. "Why do you think it was me or Dee? It could have been Annie, Bethie or Carrie."
Mom shook her head while continuing to pound her foot into the floor. "There's no way the triplets could have opened the frig door. They're only three years old."
One by one, Mom began taking away our privileges, said she was going to punish both of us until one of us confessed to the crime. I wasn't going to get to go to the Boy Scout Jamboree. Can you believe that? I did chores around the house to earn money for the trip and there she was telling me I couldn't go. So what was a boy to do?
I looked up at my mom glaring down at me, crossed my fingers behind my back and said, "Mom, I confess. It was me. I took the pop out of the frig."
I felt terrible lying to my mom, you know, being a Boy Scout and all. But I wasn't about to miss the jamboree. If my freaky sister wasn't man enough to tell the truth, so be it, I would do it for her.
What was my punishment? I had to do all the dishes in the cupboard but at least I could go on the camping trip. That was last week so why am I doing the dishes this week? Well, actually, there's more to the story.
This morning Mom called me into the house and had me sit on the couch. There she was wringing her hands, stomping her foot and the vein bulging again.
"Jared, why did you lie to me?" she demanded.
"Lie? What lie?" I asked while trying to gulp down the big ol' lump in my throat.
"I found the bottle of pop under Bethie's bed," she said, tears dripping from her eyes. "Bethie just told me she took it out of the frig. When she couldn't open the bottle, she hid it under the bed."
What can I say? I got busted. Not only do I have to do the dishes AGAIN but I don't get to go to the jamboree either. Mom said it was something about having a painful lesson to learn. Ow!
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