I pride myself on living a somewhat truthful life. It’s easier at a certain age. You have less to lose. Your kids have flown off into Reality. And the remainder of life is a bit more predictable, though truth is still an issue throughout the Solar System.
20 years ago or so, we produced a radio series called FAMILY SNAPSHOTS: 65 90-second micro-dramas. Here’s one that still has resonance.
DAD: Okay, now before we cross. Here. Look. Okay, can you read that?
DAD: Great. Okay, now wait just a second, till it changes, and you can try that. You ready? Okay?
CHILD: “Don’t Walk.”
DAD: That’s great. Wow. You’re a reader! That’s terrific. And okay, now when it says that, then you don’t walk. It says Walk and you walk, and Don’t Walk, and then you stay here and let the cars go. Okay? That’s great. Okay, let’s cross now. Hold onto my hand.
CHILD: It says Don’t Walk.
DAD: Right, fine, that’s true, but I mean right now we’re in a hurry now, it’s okay if you’re with Daddy and you hold onto my hand…
I mean it’s not something you ought to do, but we’re okay, there aren’t any cars coming, but you shouldn’t ordinarily cross, I mean, although people do, even when they’re not supposed to, and that’s called jaywalking, but I’m not saying to do that, but right now we need to or else we’re gonna be late, and we want to tell Mommy how well you’re learning to read!
(Shift. Sudden burst of simultaneous talk, confused responses from Child.)
MAN: Okay, cross now. No, stay. Okay, go. No. Stop. Hurry. Wait. Go. Don’t just stand there. Do what I tell you. Obey the law.
(Music. Child, to herself.)
CHILD: I read okay. But I don’t understand the words.