Several years ago, when I attended school at ECU, I wrote a regular post for a website related to the school. I called the posts “Taft Facts.” Each Taft Fact was a true story from my life. Most were stories of dumb things I did as a kid. To my surprise, people started to read Taft Facts. Before long, I had a modest following that consisted of friends and strangers.
This is a perfect time to bring them back.
I have two younger sisters, Claire and Zoe. They are 2 and 11 years younger than me, respectively. As you might imagine, Claire and I had a tendency to gang up on Zoe when she was young. Though we both got along with Zoe well, the temptation to mess with her occasionally led us to do some mean things.
One morning, when Zoe was about 4 years old, she was running around the living room and making it impossible for Claire and me to watch TV. This was out of character for Zoe, so we were unaccustomed to such distractions. We decided to channel her energy.
I called Zoe over to us and showed her a nickel. I asked her if she wanted to play a game and have a chance to win said nickel. Bear in mind, it was a shiny nickel, which is the only indicator of value to a four year old. Needless to say, she was SUPER excited about the possibility.
I explained to Zoe that the nickel game revolved around an ancient family secret. I told her that she was not technically old enough to play, but that I would allow her the opportunity to win the nickel if she promised not to tell mom and Dad. She promised.
I told Zoe that when our great-great-great-great grandfather built our house back in 1835(total BS, it was 25 years old at most), he installed a magical strawberry-flavored knob somewhere in the kitchen. The object of the game was to find the strawberry-flavored knob as quickly as possible. If she found it in time, she won the nickel.
At this point, I should let you know that the kitchen in our old house had TONS of knobs. It had double the number of normal kitchen knobs because there were a lot of false-front drawers. There were at least 60 knobs just waiting to be licked.
Zoe was a pretty serious kid, so she took the game seriously. She took my advice and began in the corner of the room. She worked low-to-high and left-to-right. Once she was off to the races, Claire and I returned to our TV show and enjoyed the quiet.
A few minutes later, to our immense surprise, Zoe ran into the living room and announced that she found the magic strawberry knob. We were dumbfounded, because it was apparent that shereally thought that she found a knob that magically tastes like strawberries. I told her to show me which one, and she pointed out a cabinet knob that hung over the sink. I made my best disappointed face and told her that she was wrong. I suggested that she start over in the corner and put more effort into the game. The licking continued, and we returned to the living room.
A few minutes after Zoe started round 2, Claire and I heard our Dad coming down the stairs. We jumped up and ran into the kitchen to stop her, but it was too late. When we got to the kitchen, Dad was staring at zoe, who was playing tonsil-hockey with the sliver wear drawer knob.
Dad asked Zoe what the hell she was doing. She remembered that, according to the rules, she couldn’t tell him if she wanted to win the nickel. She stood up and looked at us. After a few excruciating seconds, I told her that it was OK, she could tell Dad what she was doing. Zoe explained to Dad that she was searching for the secret family magical strawberry knob. Without missing a beat, Dad said, “Zoe, they lied to you. I can’t believe they would do that. It’s not a magic knob….it’s a magic floor tile.”
Luckily for Zoe, he stopped her before she finished the first tile.
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Until next time.