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"Wait a minute. You're saying I'm going to pretend I'm taking Ellen out on a date?"
I was 12, and the idea of knocking on the Goldfarbs' door, looking Ellen's grandfather in the eye, and tricking him troubled me. Besides, taking Ellen out on a date was something I wouldn't have the courage to do on my own behalf, so where was I going to find the courage to do it for my pal Whitey?
"I don't like this," I said. "I've known Mr. Goldfarb all my life. I can't lie to him like that..."
Lying, in general, was fine. You had to lie in order to have fun. Lying to my parents was one thing. I had an account with them. There was stuff I'd done on the positive side to cancel the stuff on the negative side. And besides, they were my parents, so they were obliged to forgive me.
Plus, the possibility of getting caught in this lie was greater than usual. Usually, I lied about a single event, like going to Brigantine or swimming in a forbidden spot. Those lies were controllable. We would take a trip, tell a lie, and it was over. But this might require many lies -- perhaps a lie a night, for many nights. Very risky. And who was the beneficiary of these lies? Who was going to have all the fun?
A DAY AT THE BEACH. The second novel from Richard Adelman, author of TEACHER TALES.