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Four Morally Ambiguous Cheating Vignettes by
10
(19 Stories)

Prompted By Cheating

/ Stories

Example 1: High School, 1968. Trigonometry test. I walked by the desk of a girl I liked – not romantically, but a nice friend. I looked at her test sheet, and quietly said words to the effect: “problem 12 – divide by two.” She did, thereby earning 5 more points. My rationale: She obviously understood…
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Who Knows Where the Time Goes? by
10
(19 Stories)

Prompted By Time

/ Stories

The French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal is reputed to have written words to the effect that  “This letter would have been shorter if I’d had more time to write it.” Perhaps if he’d had a reliable watch, a relatively modern invention, what short time he had wouldn’t have gotten away from him. For years,…
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Assembly Isn’t the Problem by
10
(19 Stories)

/ Stories

The problem is not the assembly. It’s the document purporting to be assembly instructions that makes the process maddening. Originally written in an obscure language, it’s been clumsily translated into English, rendering it completely opaque. The consumer vents her frustration by throwing the directions away and pursuing an intuitive approach, based on a no-doubt misleading…
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Be Prepared by
10
(19 Stories)

Prompted By Scouting

/ Stories

Scouting was a big part of my younger years. I enjoyed the camaraderie with other Scouts, had a great time camping, and learned a number of skills that I carry to this day.
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Stranger from the British Isles by
10
(19 Stories)

/ Stories

What was the first British song to be number one on the American charts? Hint: It predates the Beatles by two years.
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From the Horse’s Mouth by
10
(19 Stories)

Prompted By Gossip

/ Stories

Mean, malicious, or mendacious? Just plain fun? To advance a personal agenda? What qualifies? Some rumors serve a noble end. In an unnamed presidential administration, White House staffers discovered to their dismay that only truly important people were invited to the annual Christas party, with invitees limited to high level, close to the Oval Office…
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About Amphibians and Small People by
10
(19 Stories)

Prompted By Children's Books

/ Stories

Two children’s books — one from the middle of the 19th Century, the other from the end of the 20th, have a special place in my heart, for different reasons. One was a gift to my grandmother from her mother; the other I read to my daughter almost a hundred years later. My favorite children’s…
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Of Stamps and Notes by
10
(19 Stories)

Prompted By Hobbies

/ Stories

My first serious hobby was philately . . . I didn't know it as "philately" until Tom Lehrer rhymed it with Lady Chatterley.
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A picture, a mirror, and a copper plate by
10
(19 Stories)

Prompted By Anniversaries

/ Stories

A picture, a mirror, and a copper plate attest to my grandparents’ anniversary. They were married 101 years ago June 2. I know this because I have a picture of my grandmother in her wedding dress. There’s a mirror behind her, now hanging in our bedroom, although a bit worse for wear. The copper plate,…
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The Rifleman by
10
(19 Stories)

Prompted By Guns Then and Now

/ Stories

Guns were always around our family while I was growing up. My father, having grown up in Wyoming, would go hunting rabbits and snakes in his youth, and when his father died, several rifles and shotguns came with the estate. My grandfather had a rifle from his service in WW I that he’d outfitted with…
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