Lessons

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Cigarettes

Sid has a daughter. Her name is Emily.

“Emily!” Sid says. “You should smoke. Smoking rules.”

Sid takes out a cigarette. He lights it. He puffs it. He turns a little green. He coughs. He says, “Gosh DARN it!”

Emily looks at Sid uncomfortably.

“No, really,” says Sid. “It’s great.”

Sid takes another puff. “Oh, HECK,” says Sid.

Emily backs away.

Hypocrisy

Sid and Emily walk in the park.

“I just don’t understand why all these people are being immoral,” Sid says. “With their sex and all.”

“But don’t you have sex with that woman, daddy?”

“Oh, it’s all right for people like us to be hypocritical,” Sid says.

Sid’s knee locks. He falls down. He writhes on the ground. “FUDGE! Muffin fudge up a badgered guppy side order.

After a bit, Sid stands up.

He looks around shiftily.

“That hypocrisy didn’t hurt at all,” he tells Emily.

Peer Pressure

Martha sidles up to Sid with Emily watching.

Martha holds out a white packet.

“Sid,” says Martha, “you should buy some of my drugs.”

“I should?” Sid says.

“I have to keep my quota,” Martha says. “Otherwise I will be mortified before the other Cartel Ladies at the Cartel Lady Social.”

Sid frowns. “Martha, do you ever wonder if combining drug culture and Avon distribution techniques was a bad move for America?”

“I’m happy as a Cartel Lady!” chirps Martha.

There’s a pause.

Lowering her voice, Martha adds, “All the other ladies’ boyfriends are taking drugs.”

Sid’s resistance crumples.

“I have to be just like all the other boyfriends!” he says. “I’ll take it!”

Then he winces and folds practically in half. “Ow! Ow! Ow! Shuffle-civic guppy-badgering three-eyed son of a hobo! Fudge! Fudge me upside-down cake with a trowel!”

Martha colors.

Sid straightens. Holding himself very stiff and still, he walks away.

“It’s not very good to succumb to peer pressure, is it, Martha?” Emily asks.

Martha looks about shiftily. “Of course it is, Emily. Of course it is.”

Scientific Procedure

Martha leaves the packet on the table and goes on an errand.

Emily looks at it. She thinks about it. After a while, she tastes the white powder inside.

Emily is flying very high when Martha returns.

“Hi, Martha!” Emily says. She giggles. “I can see God. He’s all brown and rectangular.”

“Oh, Emily,” says Martha. “Did you take that heroin I left here for Sid?”

“Yes,” says Emily. Then she looks nervous. “Am I in trouble?”

Martha looks at the packet. She tastes its contents.

“Nope!” she says. “This was the placebo.”

“Huh?” Emily says.

“Sugar,” Martha says. “It’s all part of a giant double-blind placebo test that the Cartel Ladies are conducting! Neither the dealer nor the druggie knows whether it’s real drugs or not.”

“No wonder it didn’t hurt you to sell drugs,” Emily says. “They were actually an FDA-approved substance!”

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Categories: Hitherby, Legends, The Essential Sid