Delbert McLain came by to have coffee with us the other day. He’s our chamber of commerce, you know. Delbert’s mission inn life seems to be to promote our little valley into becoming so important and prosperous that we won’t want to live here anymore.
But he does try hard, and we admire that.
“Got an idea, guys,” he said. He swept his necktie out of the way so he wouldn’t accidentally butter it. “A contest.”
“Like the knife-sharpening contest you thought up, Del?”
“No, Doc. That didn’t pan out. See, what I’m thinking is, we should play to our strengths here. You know, delve into our plusses, put our minuses on a shelf somewhere, and show the world what we do best!”
“Of course not, Steve! I mean, we need to hold a liar’s contest!”
Dead silence. All eyes on Delbert.
He looked around at all the solemn faces.
“You know what I mean …”
“It could really draw crowds.”
Then Doc, our unofficial spokesman because he has more degrees than a thermometer, spoke up.
“And just who would the liars be?”
“Well … you know, like Steve here. Remember Steve when you said you once rode a bucking horse while sitting backwards on it? Things like that.”
“I did that, Delbert,” Steve said.
“I saw him do that,” Dud said.
“Oh. Well, Dewey once told me he’d put a cow into the branches of a tree. We could start off with something like that.”
“Three of us were there when Dewey did that,” Steve said. “Ran that cow off a little bluff. We had to cut the tree down.”
Delbert sipped his coffee and ate a slice of toast. He’d forgotten to put any jelly on it, too.
“Doc’s squirrel?” Delbert said.
Now Doc’s fictitious squirrel, Chipper, was a lie. But it was the kind of lie that takes on a life of its own until … well …
“You talking about Chipper?” Dud asked.
“If that’s his name,” Delbert said.
“How is ol’ Chip, anyway, Doc?” asked Steve.
“Doing okay. Sleeps a lot these days. Hibernation, you know.”
Delbert left a tip and got up to go pay. They waited until he was gone before laughing.
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