Smile of the Day

Life is getting much too serious, yes? Who doesn't need a daily smile?




Sunday, July 30

Negotiations

Little Leroy's birthday was coming up quickly. Catching his mother making supper in the kitchen, he thought this would be a good time to tell her that he wanted a bicycle for his birthday. But little Leroy was a bit of a troublemaker. In fact, he had gotten into trouble only just yesterday, and had to be sent to his room. So, naturally, Leroy's mother asked him if he deserved to get a bicycle for his birthday. And Leroy, just as naturally, thought he did.

Leroy's mother suggested he reflect on his behaviour over the past year, and then write a letter to God and tell Him why he deserved a bicycle for his birthday. No problem, thought Leroy, and stomped up the stairs to his room to write God a letter:
Dear God,
I have been a very good boy this year and I would like a bike for my birthday. I want a red one.
Your friend, Leroy.
... Er, even Leroy quickly realised this was not at all true. Let's face it, he had not been a very good boy that year. So he tore up the first letter and started over:
Dear God,
This is your friend Leroy. I have been a pretty good boy this year, and I would like a red bike for my birthday.
Thank you, Leroy.
... Uhm, that was not so good either. Third try:
Dear God,
I have been an OK boy this year and I would really like a red bike for my birthday,
Leroy.
But Leroy was honest enough with himself to realise that even this was not precisely truthful. Tearing it up, he wrote yet another letter:
Dear God,
I know I haven't been a good boy this year. I am very sorry. I will be a good boy if you just send me a red bike for my birthday.
Thank you, Leroy.
Oh, but that letter for sure was not going to get him his bicycle. Torn: God would know if he was being honest, but honesty was not going to earn him his bicycle. By now, Leroy was getting very upset. He went downstairs and told his mother he wanted to go to the church. She agreed -- maybe her plan had worked? -- and told him just to be home in time for dinner.

So little Leroy went into the church and up to the altar: what do I do, what do I do, I really, really want that bicycle, but no way God is ever going to reward me. Suddenly -- a quick glance around, no one was watching -- he snatched up a statue of the Virgin Mary, slipped it under his shirt, and ran out of the church, down the street, into his house, up into his room. Then he shut the door to his room and sat down with a piece of paper and a pen to begin yet another letter to God:
I'VE GOT YOUR MAMA. IF YOU WANT TO SEE HER AGAIN, SEND THE BIKE.
Signed, YOU KNOW WHO.

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