|IT’S OK, SON, EVERYBODY DOES IT
(Variation on the original) Jack Griffin, Chicago Sun Times
When Johnny was 6 years old, he was with his father when they were caught for speeding. His father handed the officer a $20 bill with his driver’s license. “It’s OK, son,” his father said as they drove off, “Everybody does it.”
When he was 8 Johnny was present at a family council presided over by his Uncle George, on the surest means to shave points off the income tax return. “It’s OK, kid,” his uncle said, “Everybody does it.”
When he was 12, Johnny broke his glasses on the way to school. His Aunt Francine persuaded the insurance company that they had been stolen, and they collected $75. “It’s OK, kid,” she said, “Everybody does it.”
When he was 14, Johnny and his family went to the movies. His father said, “Tell them you’re 13 to get the child’s rate.” “It’s OK, son,” his father said, “Everybody does it.”
When he was 15, Johnny's football coach showed him how to block, while at the same time, grab the opposing end by the shirt so the official couldn’t see it. “It’s OK, son,” the coach said, “Everybody does it.”
When he was 16, Johnny had a job at the supermarket. His job was to put the overripe strawberries in the bottom of the boxes and the good ones on top where they would show. “It’s OK, kid,” the manager said, “Everybody does it.”
When he was 18, Johnny and a neighbor applied for a college scholarship. Johnny was a marginal student. His neighbor was in the upper 3 percent of his class, but he couldn’t play right guard. Johnny got the scholarship. “It’s OK, son,” his parents said, “Everybody does it.”
When Johnny was 19, he was offered test answers for $50. “It’s OK, kid,” he said, “Everybody does it.” Johnny was caught and sent home in disgrace. “How could you do this to your mother and me?” his father asked. “You certainly never learned anything like this at home.” His coach, aunt and uncle were equally shocked.
“If there is one thing the adult world can not stand is someone who cheats...”
Until next month, stay safe and embrace levity.
John Chase can be reached via his e-mail address at Jchase@bcnv.org.