I lie to my kids. I do it for fun. It’s cheap entertainment.
Tonight’s episode was a personal triumph.
Amy and Seth and I helped lead worship for a Living Hope Church retreat last night and all day today. By the time I got home, I laid down for a 10 minute snooze that turned into a two hour plunge into REM state. I was exhausted, and I needed the rest. Amy and I agreed that tonight was one of those rare times when we were HUNGRY for real food and lacked ANY DESIRE whatsoever to cook.
So I loaded up the boys in the van to pick them up some tasty 99 cent chicken nuggets and sandwiches from Wendy’s (don’t judge me), and proceeded to pull out my cell phone to call the a local steakhouse to order a tasty rib-eye for Amy and myself (don’t judge me… you’ve done this, too… you know you have. Or if you hadn’t thought of it before, you’re now doing a silent fist-pump of thanksgiving, and you will commit a similar act of culinary inequity soon. You know you will.)
“Who ya calling dad?”
In a moment of brilliance, the idea simultaneously was birthed in my brain and came out my face in a smooth flow, with that perfect blend of assurance and non-chalance that is needed to convince a van load of rowdy boys that the bologna you are selling them is trustworthy. In a flash, a new hi-tech food delivery enterprise was born. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: 1-800-GET-BEEF.
Me: “They’ve got this network set up across the country… They’re everywhere. They guarantee a fresh, grilled-to-order steak, ready for pickup within three miles of your current location anywhere in the Continental United States – cooked and ready to go in 12 minutes.”
Boys: (pause) “Really?”
Boys: (longer pause) “That’s AWESOME!”
Yes it is. It is SO awesome. Who doesn’t want a freshly grilled steak available at a moment’s notice? Unless you’re vegan, this idea is pure grade-A awesome sauce with a side of extra tasty goodness. Of course it is patently absurd, and logistically impossible, but let’s not let reality tamper with my sweet moment of victory…
Boys: “Wait… Dad? How do they know where to send it?”
Me: “Uh… GPS. They track your cell phone call and send your steak to the nearest drop point. It’s pretty cool, really.”
Boys: (pause) “AWESOME!”
Dude. They are buying this. I’m a horrible father. And yet… I’m enjoying myself immensely. No need to wrestle with those lingering pangs of conscience. That would just bring me down, man. Let me savor this sweet sweet tangled web of lies.
As I pulled into the into the busy parking lot of a local supper club, the boys pause their ruckus in the back of the van to ask, “What are we doing here?”
Me: “Oh… this is the local drop point for this area for 1-800-GET-BEEF. They’re all over the place. It should be ready by now.”
In amazement they watched me return to the van with a freshly grilled steak, Medium, baked potato, and side salad. As the smell of the hot, savory rib-eye filled the van on the ride home, I got to enjoy my two eldest sons discussing ways to beat the system. After all, if 1-800-GET-BEEF “guarantees” local delivery within 12 minutes, there must be some way to finagle some free steak…
“We should, like, go hiking in the mountains, and once we’re WAY up the trail, call 1-800-GET-BEEF. Yeah. There’s NO WAY they’ll make it to us in 12 minutes…”
While I can’t argue that logic, I fail to see how this plan would actually work in the real world. Are you going to hike cross country to pick up your steak at the nearest drop zone? Three miles is a long trek through the brush on a mountainside, after all. And wouldn’t it cost you more than the price of the steak itself to equip yourself at the local REI in backpacking gear? They clearly haven’t thought this plan through.
As Amy and I sat at our table tonight, savoring a delicious meal which we did not cook, I smiled to myself with each bite. Sure, I lie to my kids. It’s just rare that they all fall for it in one fell swoop. Or in this case, medium…
I’m not sure just when they’ll figure out that I’m full of beans. In the long run, this probably won’t help my case in arguing for the reality of the Tooth Fairy, but I refuse to back down.
In any case, tonight’s deception worked so well, I may just run with the theme. This is America, after all. Home of capitalism, the unfettered entrepreneurial spirit, and consumer-driven ingenuity.
Surely there is a market for 1-800-MY-BACON?
“i lie to children :: pride cometh before the beef” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.