Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Live Indians, Dead Puppies, and
Fake Sea-Monkeys

When I was a kid I bought a Native American stone arrowhead at a Boy Scout event.

One Saturday afternoon I was sitting next to the shed in my backyard where we kept our trashcans when I found the arrowhead in the dirt. I thought my mother dropped it on the way to the trash thinking it was just a rock in my bedroom. I picked up the arrowhead and went to put it where it belonged when I discovered that the original arrowhead I'd purchased was right where it belonged in my room.

The arrowhead I found in my backyard was a real life archeological discovery from hundreds of years ago.

While my arrowheads are long gone this brought back a memory of when my namesake cousin found a dead puppy in Brooklyn when he was a kid and created his own archeological piece of history. He and his friends took the dead dog down an alley to a construction site and gave the pup a proper burial.

It turns out that the building being built was a public library and the construction workers later uncovered the bones of the dead dog. When the library opened, they had a contest for kids to write about what they thought the bones were. My cousin, Joe, was a sharp kid. He wrote about what had happened. He figured he was a shoo–in with his unfair advantage.

Did my cousin win? Nope, he wasn't even close. The kid who won wrote about how the dinosaurs roamed the earth hundreds of millions of years ago while wearing eyeglasses and taking vitamins.

As a kid, we learn, quickly, about truth in advertising and to never let the facts get in the way of telling a good story. Whether it's the pair of x-ray glasses we bought which really don't see through things or the sea-monkeys which don't look anything like the comic book ad. Everyone loves a good story.

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