Literal-Minded

Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

Doug Visits the Lost and Found

Posted by Neal on December 22, 2010

Last year, Doug started to get a reputation among his friends as a guy who will do crazy things. At the end-of-school pool party, his friend Ken dared him, for $5, to eat a slice of pizza that someone had dropped on the ground. Doug ate it and collected an easy $5. (When my wife found out, she was so horrified that she told him, “The next time that happens, come to me! I’ll give you $5 for not eating it!” Doug and I agreed that if that policy had been in place, he would have tried to get an offer of $20 from Ken before refusing.)

At the end of a course of eight weekly lectures on drug abuse and how to resist peer pressure, he resisted the peer pressure (and teacher pressure) to write an essay that concluded with his pledge not to abuse drugs. He wrote that the program had provided some good information, but could be improved by not glossing over issues like medicinal marijuana, and that although he didn’t plan to abuse drugs, it wouldn’t be because of a pledge that was involuntary and therefore meaningless. According to Doug, it was the only essay to get a round of applause from the students.

Last Friday, Doug came into the lunchroom carrying a green glove that his friends didn’t recognize. As he sat down to eat, Ken asked, “Where’d the glove come from?”

Doug said, “I picked it up at the Lost and Found.”

“You just took it from the Lost and Found?”

“Yeah.”

Ken began to laugh. This was crazy! He turned to the others at the table. “Hey, guys, Doug just took this glove from the Lost and Found!”

They laughed in disbelief. You just never knew what kind of random stunt Doug would pull. But after a minute or so their amusement turned to concern.

“Doug, you can’t just go taking stuff from the Lost and Found!”

“Doug, why would you want that glove?”

“Doug, this is not cool, man!”

“Well,” Doug said, “it is mine….”

I had been less than happy when Doug came home with only one of his new green gloves on the very first day he wore them. Good for him for taking the initiative to look for it at the Lost and Found. And way to violate the Maxim of Quantity for fun and laughs!

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6 Responses to “Doug Visits the Lost and Found”

  1. The Ridger said

    Doug will go far. The question is, in which direction?

  2. Grig said

    I wish I lived closer. If he’s anything like you, I’d totally have a good time with him. At LEAST I got to meet him this year.

  3. Philip Whitman said

    Cool! He made it seem like there was no particular purpose in his going by the lost-and-found place, when in fact he knew exactly what he was looking for.

  4. Glen said

    I’m really glad Doug resisted the pressure to make that anti-drug pledge.

  5. TJ said

    That’s a pretty cool story. You’ve got a smart kid!

  6. […] and played the straight man in Doug’s impromptu bit of lunchroom comedy involving the lost-and-found. Now all three of these guys are going into high school, as members of the marching band, and have […]

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