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The DerringerFacebooktwitterlinkedinmail

“I’m sorry to say, Mr. Jones, that we can’t hire you.”

“Why? I’m an excellent candidate. Look at my history of selling heavy equipment. Have you checked my references and letters of recommendation?”

“We have, but those factors have been overridden by a problem.”

“What problem?”

“You lied to us.”

“I did not.”

“According to your polygraph test, you did.”

“I was absolutely forthright.”

“The needle flew off the chart when we asked, ‘Have you ever stolen anything?”

“Call the police. I don’t have a record.”

“Evidently, you weren’t apprehended, Mr. Jones.”

“There’s never been anything to apprehend me for.”


“Certainly not, not as an adult. And not as a teenager, and not as an adolescent, either.”

“Then how do you explain the polygraph, Mr. Jones?”

“Those things aren’t perfect.”

“We’re confident this test revealed a falsehood.”

“You aren’t referring to when I was six years old, are you?”

“The question pertained to your entire life.”

“I was in first grade.”

“Did you kill someone?”

“Of course not.”

“Tell us what happened, then we’ll see.”

“Okay. I’d just turned six and can’t remember what birthday present I got but remember what I most wanted.”

“What was that, Mr. Jones?”

“A derringer.”

“You wanted a firearm at age six?”

“A toy. In those days they had some toys in the supermarket. I asked my parents to buy it for me but they said no. It was only a dollar or two, at the time. They could’ve afforded it. Every time we went I asked but they told me to drop it. I would have but I kept daydreaming about the beautiful silver barrel and antique white handle. It was easily small enough to put in my pocket and take to school.

“A couple of days after we went to the market, I walked back there by myself. I could go in that market today, if it’s still there, and show you where the derringer was, at the end of a row. It was packaged in thin cardboard in back and clear plastic in front. I looked around and grabbed it and raised my shirt, preparing to shove the package into my pants, when a woman appeared, pushing her cart, and told me, ‘You better not steal that.’

“I didn’t know what to say. Thankfully, she moved on toward the back of the store, and when she disappeared I finished shoving the package into my pants and covered it with my shirt, and walked out the store.

“That night in my bedroom I was playing with my gun when my father walked in and said, ‘What the hell. Did you steal that?’

“‘No, I didn’t.’

“‘Then how’d you get it? You take that back to the store right now. Ask to see the manager and tell him what you did and apologize.’”

“Sir, I walked into the market and straight to the end of the aisle now so familiar and put the derringer back on the rack where I’d gotten it.”

“Did you talk to the manager, Mr. Jones?”

“No, I just returned the gun and got out of there.”

“Did your parents ask if you’d talked to the manager?”


“What did you tell them?”

“I told them I didn’t talk to anyone, just returned the gun.”

“Did you parents trust you after that, Mr. Jones?”

“Yes, I believe they did.”

“We’ll give you another polygraph, and if your facts are confirmed we may interview you again.”

This entry was posted in Crime, Guns, Markets, Theft, Toys.