“You’re doing it wrong! Here, let me do it,” Crystal yanked the pencil out of Gabe’s hand and shouldered him out of the way.
“You have to hold your hand steady, like this,” she explained as she began to pull the pencil down the page.
“Your hand doesn’t look like it was steady to me,” Gabe laughed at Crystal’s attempt to one-up him. “That’s worse than mine!” he snickered.
“You moved the table! I felt it! No fair,” Crystal pouted and tossed the pencil across the room.
“Oh, that’s real mature,” Gabe said as he stood up to retrieve it. “Ok, let’s try this again… it really shouldn’t be this hard,” he said leaning over the table and grabbing a clean sheet of paper. Standing up, Gabe admired his handiwork. “Not bad, eh?” he said over his shoulder to Crystal, who was still pouting.
“Let me see,” Crystal said and reaching up to take the paper from Gabe’s hand and withdrawing it just a fraction too soon-
“Seriously, Crystal? You ripped the only decent attempt we had all night!” Gabe cupped his forehead with his hands in defeat.
“It was an accident! I swear… I would never do that! I want this done just as much as you do… I don’t care who does it first,” Crystal protested as her eyes grew watery and her lip quivered slightly.
Gabe sighed. “Ok, I’m sorry. I know it was an accident. I’m just tired and ready to be done with this,” he walked over to Crystal and gave her a hug. “Now, let’s just figure this out. We’re both smart, capable people, right? We can do this,” Gabe said with just a tinge of doubt.
Jake and Olivia walked into the kitchen to find their parents asleep hunched over the kitchen table with piles of crumpled paper all around them. The kids looked at their poor parents and then rolled their eyes. “Guys! Wake up!” they screamed in unison and laughed as both their parents launched out of their seats in a daze.
Once the adults had rubbed the sleep out of their eyes, Jake asked, “So, did you figure it out?”
One look at their parents answered that question… they had failed.
“Come on, you guys… we really expected more from you,” Olivia shook her head and wagged her finger in exaggeration at her parents. Olivia moved some scrap paper around until she found the instruction sheet she and Jake had left for them the night before. The directions had been simple:
Draw a straight line without the use of a ruler or any straight-edge (including the edge of the paper).
“Enough with the suspense already,” Crystal pleaded. Just tell us how to do it.
“Should we tell them, Livy?” Jake winked at his younger sister.
“Yeah, they’ve suffered long enough,” Olivia smiled at her brother and waved for him to proceed with the explanation.
Needing no further encouragement, Jake went over to the junk drawer and after moving a few things around found what he was looking for and rejoined the group at the kitchen table. “Here’s the answer!” he said and dropped a piece of string on the table.
Staring at the string, both adults couldn’t believe the simplicity of the solution that had eluded them all night. Laughing at their parent’s reaction, Olivia and Jake grabbed their backpacks and headed off to school, excited to see how many of their friends had also been successful in torturing their parents for the night.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Second night of painting and I’m sooooo over it. It wouldn’t be so bad if the tools I used actually did what they were supposed to (I’m looking at you, painter’s tape!). So tonight, as I begin peeling the tape off of my lovely white baseboards, what should I discover- GASP! Smudgy blue paint had infiltrated the blue painter’s tape and was now all over my baseboards! Sigh… So I spent the better part of the night devoted to the enviable task of attempting to coax a straight line out of the drips, smudges and smears that topped my baseboards like some exotic fungus. Let’s just say straight lines are not my forte. I’m pretty sure I made it worse, but I’m too tired (and too time-crunched) to care. As I sat painting smudges into straight lines I kept thinking, “there has got to be an easier way!”. Well, if there is, I never figured it out. Life goes on.
Love & Squirrels.