Monday, June 3, 2013

Story Time

Today I thought I would tell you a funny story, because it's a summer Monday and funny stories are especially useful for curing the back-to-work blues.

Once upon a time, many years ago, a little girl was in a Florida airport with her Mom and Dad. Towards the end of a successful family vacation and before the era of cell phones and internet, the young girl's parents had gone to the airline ticket counter hoping to address an issue with the next day's flight. Relatively unsupervised and possessing a vibrant imagination, the little girl wandered over to a group of pay phones and began making pretend phone calls. No coins meant no real calls and no harm done, that is until one intricately imagined scenario, in which an emergency at the airport required the little girl to be a hero and call for help. She picked up the pay phone and dialed three numbers... "Hello this is 911, what is your emergency?" said a voice on the other end of the line. Click.

Now back at the airline counter standing angelically next to her Mom and Dad, a police officer approached.

"Excuse ma'am, sir, is everything all right?"

"Yes officer, why do you ask?"

"Well I believe your daughter just dialed 911 on that pay phone."

Incredulous stares came down on the little girl... "Did you just dial 911?" her parents asked. And at that moment, the little girl answered the only way a child prone to wild imaginings and healthy fear of punishment could: "NO!!"

After several apologies to the confused officer, the little girl was hauled off, possibly in tears, by her embarrassed parents. Once in the car she was scolded for calling 911 in an airport, but more than what she did, she was in trouble for lying about it. Back at the hotel, the little girl was punished, forced on the last night of vacation to sit and write an essay about why it's bad to tell lies. This essay, location presently unknown, is rumored to have been a stroke of literary genius and perhaps an early indication of the young girl's talent for the written word.

Many years have past since that fateful night, but two life lessons will remain with the little girl forever: (1) Calls to 911 always go through on pay phones, even if you don't put any money in; and (2) It doesn't matter what you did, you will always get in
more trouble it you lie about it. Nice work Mom and Dad.

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