Saturday, August 9, 2008

Winnie Doesn't Care

OintMint was a potent drink. People drank it for all sorts of reasons. Winnie Shingle, though, drank it for no reason at all.

For breakfast her mother would come into her room and ask, Win, would you like your OintMint warm or cold this morning?

I couldn’t care less, mother, Winnie would always respond. You know that.

Of course I do dear, her mother would say, but it never hurts to ask.

This statement, while oftentimes true enough, was in this case actually very far from the truth – it hurt a great deal. Winnie’s mother was well aware of the potency of OintMint, and she also knew that as a result people were often very particular about how and when and why they were drinking the stuff. Her daughter, though, could not seem to care less, and as a result, Winnie’s mother worried greatly about her daughter. Thus when she asked, Would you like your OintMint warm or cold this morning? and Winnie declared that she did not care, her mother was genuinely pained, fearing her daughter might be a bit off.

One day Winnie’s mother developed a scheme to determine whether she was truly indifferent to OintMint or not. Instead of giving Winnie a glass of the potent substance in the morning, she brought her a cup of milk (this drink being the same color and thickness, naturally, as OintMint). Here you go Winnie, the mother said as she handed her daughter the cup. Winnie drew the cup to her mouth and took a large swallow. After finishing the contents of the cup she handed it back to her mother and, as she did everyday, and said, Thank you, mother, I think I’ll take a nap now.

Mrs. Shingle, an honest, dependable woman, was terrified. It’s true then, she thought to herself, she doesn’t care at all. Returning to the kitchen she drops the tray with Winnie’s empty cup on it into the sink. A small crash is heard as she makes her way to the kitchen table and falls into a chair to cover her face with her hands. She begins sobbing loudly for her poor daughter Winnie who is, she is now convinced, a bit off.

No comments: