Sunday, October 10, 2010

At the Risk of Perpetuating Unfair Stereotypes…

Hugh, The Teenager and the Man-Cub attended the High School football game Friday night. While they were out, I caught up on my DVR queue. About halfway through the latest episode of Glee, Hugh called to tell me that he had just had an interesting conversation with the Middle School principal, the jist of which was that the Man-Cub had been accused of taking an eighth grader's lunch money that day.

As I marveled at the interesting pattern that my brain matter left on the ceiling, Hugh quickly assured me that the whole thing had been a misunderstanding which is why we hadn't been summoned to the school during the day.

Apparently, that morning, the Cub had been doling out fake teeth (it was Hillbilly Day and I had  purchased a bag of the teeth for the Cub. Obviously he could only use one pair so, I had instructed him to give the rest to his friends). An eighth grader had heard about the teeth and approached the Cub at lunch, offering to pay him $2 for a pair which, the Cub thought sounded just dandy so; he took the money and headed to his locker to retrieve the teeth. Unfortunately, he was intercepted by a teacher who sent him to class and, being the Man-Cub, forgot all about the teeth and the money which caused the eighth grader to feel duped, as one would under the circumstances. So, the eighth grader went to the office and said that a sixth grader had stolen his lunch money.

The Cub was called in, the story came out and the Cub not only handed over the teeth but offered to refund half the asking price. End of drama, back to class.

The principal had forgotten all about it until he saw Hugh at the game and then he couldn’t help but tell him about it, laughing the entire time. He and Hugh debated whether or not to call it extortion, a con gone awry or a laughable mistake but, knowing the Cub, quickly agreed on the third option.

I told him that, while I was glad they had found the humor in the situation, I was personally appalled that the Cub would try to profit from something I specifically told him to give away.

Hugh said that was the least of his concerns, after all, the boy was showing good financial sense and, that, right there? Was the Jew in him coming out.

At which point I reminded him that the Cub had offered to return half the money as well as handing over the teeth and that right there? Catholic guilt.

We are, as they say, at an impasse.

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