Who Do You Think You’re Fooling?

Writers are some of the oddest people I know.  They agonize over the weirdest details and blow past the obvious subjects to focus on the most trivial theme imaginable.  I think though, that the oddest thing about writers is what they do in their spare time.

When they are not . . . Okay, I’ll just admit it and get it over with.  I’m one of these strange creatures.  It’s not they, but we.  When we are not writing, we actually spend time talking about writing, and learning about writing, and practicing writing.  We have groups and websites that are dedicated to the proposition that in order to be a writer, one must immerse himself in not only the practice of the art, but the culture of the artist.  I haunt at least one such website with some regularity.  There may be more, but let’s just keep that to ourselves, okay?

There is a point to be made with this meandering discourse, though.  I’ll try to make my way to it presently.

Today, I opened an email on the site in question.  It was from one of the moderators of the blogging group I’ve joined.  No, not a personal email, but just the daily writing prompt.  The prompt for today–What’s that?  Oh. Why would we need a writing prompt?  I did mention we are a weird bunch of people, right?  The thing about writers is that we worry when we don’t want to write.  Well, it’s more than that.  We worry when we want to write, but can’t seem to get anything to come out of the pen, or on the monitor, or–Well, you get the picture.  We need help occasionally.  The prompt is sometimes enough to get the creative juices flowing.

Today’s prompt asked the question: “When was the last time you successfully tricked someone?”

I typically glance at such emails and close them, forgetting the message immediately.  If there is anything I don’t struggle with, it is subject matter about which to write.  I don’t need someone giving me extra grist for the grinding wheel in my brain.  I’m not trying to boast; I just know that in the everyday progression of life, there is an unquenchable fountain of lessons to be learned and passed on.  So far anyway, I have not needed to resort to these gimmicks.

This session would end differently.

Tonight, after reading the one line suggestion, I sat gazing unseeingly at the little black lines on my computer screen.  The trickle of thoughts turned into a torrent in seconds.  Tricked someone?  Why would I do that?  I’m not a shyster, seeking ways to make unethical profits!  I treat people with complete honesty!

My customers are confident they can trust me.  Why just today, that guy handed me five hundred dollars and told me he didn’t need a receipt, because his friend told him that I was as honest as the day is long.  Whoever said that knew what they were talking about!

“That’s why we brought it to you.  We know you won’t steer us wrong.”  The lady standing on the other side of the counter needed my opinion about an instrument which she is considering for purchase from someone else.  Of course, I agreed with her sentiments.

The torrent poured along the riverbed of my mind and memory.  With each landmark it passed, I was filled with pride that I am not that kind of man.

The Lovely Lady knows she can trust me.  I would never fool her–not for a second.  My family members all are sure they can depend on me.  The people I go to church with, my friends, the acquaintances who wave as I walk down the street . . .

The torrent turned off abruptly, as if an unseen hand cranked the hydrant shut.  Not a trickle more escaped.

I immediately knew the answer to the question.

I know now when I last fooled someone.

I know who it was.

Right now.


For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
(Galatians 6:3 ~ ESV)

When I was a little boy, (when I was just a boy)
And the devil would call my name (when I was just a boy)
I’d say, now who do,
Who do you think you’re fooling? (When I was just a boy)
I’m a consecrated boy.
I’m a singer in the Sunday choir.
Oh, my mama loves me, she loves me.
She get down on her knees and hug me.
Loves me like a rock,
She rocks me like the Rock of Ages
And loves me. (She love me, love me, love me, love me)
(from “Loves Me Like A Rock” ~ Words/Music by Paul Simon ~ Universal Music Publishing Group)

© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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