(About a 2 minute read)
How fast can small town gossip travel? Pick out which, if any, of these three stories is pure fiction.
(1) “Headed Our Way”
One sunny summer morning when I was nine or ten years old, I spent about an hour playing in my favorite creek. Around eleven o’clock, I decided to bike over to Mom’s office for some reason I’ve forgotten now. The trip took me about 20 minutes. As I walked in the door, Phyllis, Mom’s secretary, greeted me, “Oh hi, Paul! We’ve been expecting you. We heard you were headed our way. How was the creek today?”
(2) Cherry Pie
I called Mom on Thursday to let her know I’d be home from university for the weekend. Friday afternoon I got into town and headed straight for the bank to get a few dollars for the tavern later on in the evening. “Welcome back for the weekend!” The teller said. She was new, I only knew her by face from having seen her around town, and not by name. “Have you been home yet, Paul? Your mom has set out a cherry pie for you on the counter next to your kitchen sink. It’s all yours, but it would be sweet if you saved a slice for your mother, don’t you think?”
(3) Coasting Through a Stop Sign
My friend, Mark, was returning home at five in the morning from a party in the city. In a small town five miles down the road from ours, he decided to roll through a stop sign because he couldn’t see any traffic on the road.
The town’s only police officer on duty was bored as usual, so he decided to use the excuse of violating a stop sign to pull Mark over and ask him how he was doing in university. Mark got home about thirty minutes later and managed to sneak into bed without waking his parents.
Almost at eight sharp his mother shook him awake. “Mark! How dare you sneak in without waking me to say you’re home and safe! And what on earth possessed you to coast through a stop sign this morning? You could have easily run into some farmer on his way to breakfast at the Bobcat Diner!”
(All three stories are true.)