The Art of the Schpiel

When I was a kid, a friend’s mom once took us to Burger King (I know, eeew).

My friend didn’t want to go inside the restaurant (if you can call it a restaurant). In fact, he was adamant about not going in. At first, he wouldn’t stop whining and pleading. But his mom just seemed to ignore him.

Then he began to pitch his case. He explained that he wasn’t hungry, that the tables were dirty and that he needed to get back home to play space invaders.

His mom was hardly convinced.

Then he started unleashing threats. “if you make me go inside, then I just won’t take off my coat.”

His mom laughed. “So, leave your coat on. Why would anyone care?”

Then he started to negotiate. “If you let me wait in the car, I’ll keep my jacket on.”

Umm. Okay.

I don’t know if it was his stupidity or what, but her patience was growing thin. She screamed, “You are going inside! No IF ANDS or BUTS about it!”

Poor little Stewie capitulated. He ended up sitting at a filthy table, with his jacket on, wolfing down a double whopper with cheese.

I learned many valuable lessons that day that I continue to carry with me.

Whining is just annoying. Pleading is pathetic. Threats are futile absent fear. And negotiations require actually understanding what the other person wants.

But the most important lesson I learned that day was: don’t ever f&ck with a Mom!

75 blog posts down – 290 more to go…

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