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Mistakes Were Made

Garth Brown |

Yesterday I went to a Farm Disaster Preparedness seminar. While most of the stuff was common sense, it was good to be reminded of common sense precautions, and it made me glad I don’t have a room full of chemicals I need to keep locked up.

But the reason I’m writing about it is that it was the site of my first mistake. I had the foresight to pack my own lunch, so I wasn’t tempted by the fried chicken or the pasta salad, but I hadn’t brought anything to drink. The other farmers, hearty trenchermen all, had made short work of not just the food, but also of the two pitchers by the coffee maker, one filled with cola or iced tea, the other with what I took to be water. By the time I got there only about a quarter of a cup of clear liquid remained, which I knocked back without a second thought. It turned out to be Sprite.

On scrapple day, as Ed mentioned, I went up to Utica to replenish our stores. All day I’d been even more powerfully tempted by chocolate and coffee than usual, which is saying something. As I drove I thought about how easy it would be to buy some version of both at any of the gas stations I passed, and how no one would ever know I’d done it. The biggest deterrent, I decided, was the prospect of living in bad faith. What I mean is that you, my readers, would never know what I’d done, but I would, and each time I wrote something that cultivated the impression that I was sticking to the rules I’d laid out, the memory of furtively eating a gross candy bar would come back to me.

Am I saying that my mistaken swig of soda will haunt me in the coming months? No! Not even a little. It was an honest mistake, and now I’m telling you all about it. My only regret is that it wasn’t coffee instead.


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