Dear Uncle Harris,
I’m writing to say that I can’t forgive you for cheating at checkers when we played last weekend. When I got up or more hot chocolate, I saw you hid two of my pieces in your pocket-thingy, and then later when my favorite commercial came on, I’m pretty sure you kinged a piece of yours when I wasn’t looking. It was nowhere near my side of the board, and it wasn’t even your turn.
When I asked you about it, you yelled at me and said I didn’t know how to play checkers right. Which I guess I should tell you I can’t forgive you for either. I guess you know how to shut people up when you don’t want to hear what they’re saying, huh. Worked on me.
But I’m still thinking about it. I want to forgive you, and not just because people say it is the right thing to do either. Because I like playing checkers with you, and I think you like it too. I just wish we could play and just be nice to each other again. Isn’t that how it is supposed to work? Since I’m littler than you and can’t make you stop, I should forgive you, and then we can keep playing.
But I can’t forgive you, because to forgive means to pull out some invisible log book where you keep track of everyone’s good and mis-deeds and cross some misdeed off
UNCLE HARRIS………………………………………………….. Cheated at checkers. At least twice.
but I don’t have any invisible log books. Who does? How would anyone decide what to write down in it, and what just to leave out? It doesn’t make sense. Is there a special pen?
So I guess we’re not going to play checkers anymore, unless someone teaches you that it’s not a good idea to cheat. There probably are books about that, or there should be, if there aren’t. Everybody knows if you want someone to act better all you have to do is show them that acting better is a better idea. You shouted me down though.
So here goes, Uncle Harris: cheating at checkers is not a good idea!! Really not!!
Maybe someone else wants to play a different game with you called “See if you can catch Uncle Harris cheating.” I have played that type of game with littler kids and it’s fun for a minute or two. But not as fun as actual checkers.*
There’s one other thing that might help–if you want to talk to me about cheating, about you cheating, really. I don’t find cheating that interesting, it’s just that if you talk to me about it, it might change my expectations of you. Because until I feel like I can expect you not to cheat again, I don’t want to play with you.* So that might help.
If that happens, and I no longer think you are an abomindable-dirty-rat-fink-conniver, I guess someone else might say that I have forgiven you. But I won’t have, because I really don’t care about your good-deeds-minus-bad-deeds-score. I just want to have fun. And play checkers. With you. Maybe that means I forgave in advance. That would make sense, right? I mean, Jesus died for your sins already. I can’t forgive you again. But I still don’t want to play with you until you play right.
PS: I don’t need to say that this letter is fictional and has no relation at all, let alone any that are actual persons alive or dead because it is a LETTER.
*These two paragraphs are a perfect example of good education, right? I shouted at you, then tried to belittle you. Just like school.
**Maybe I am a logbook, even though I don’t have a logbook! Look out.
Hey, if you want to take 2000 years of bad logic apart, I say do it with a transexual!