“Thou Shalt Not Steal”
Whenever I run across a “Nigerian prince” scam, I always like to read ahead to find out at exactly which price point the perpetrators expect me to take leave of my senses. A million dollars? $500 thousand?
The fateful day I first broke the eighth commandment I was not even yet in kindergarten, and all it took was 25 cents.. or $3.00 in today’s dollars after inflation.
That was the day that, fishing around in my mother’s purse, I found a pretty quarter, and it was so shiny, and I thought of all the candy I could buy for that princely sum… and I took it.
But then I felt a pang of remorse… what if my mother noticed it was missing? Desperate for a solution, I wandered over to my father’s desk where… I found a second quarter!
And so I placed that quarter in my mother’s purse to replace the one I had taken.
Problem solved! Or… was it? What if… my father noticed his quarter was missing?
And so I took a quarter from my mother’s purse to replace the quarter that I had taken from my father, but… wait… what if…?
I have no recollection of how many iterations of this useless exercise I engaged in, or the final denouement… Did I take the quarter at last? Or did I give up and return everything to the status quo?
Happily, although I am not perfect, it is my hope that my moral fibre is made of slightly sterner stuff at present.