Scratching Off Your Debt

, , , , , , | Related | January 1, 2019

(I am six years old. My father is working full time on collecting funds for charity. One of the persuasion tools they use is a scratch card, as a sort of appeal to a “gambling sense” or a “leave it to faith” kind of thing. This would convince some to give apparently, anyway. One day, the little six-year-old curious and enthusiastic learner I am, I decide to ask about the scratch card and how it works. I go to see my father.)

Me: *holding the card* “Dad, what’s this?”

Father: “This card? I’ll show you.”

(He takes it from me and points on it.)

Father: “So, this is to raise funds for [Charity]; all you have to do is pick one little circle on the card and scratch it. Give it a try; just scratch one.”

Me: “You want me to scratch one for real?”

Father: “Yes, yes for real. Go for it.”

(I scratch one circle, it says $1.70.)

Father: “All right, that will be $1.70, miss.”

(I proceed to pretend to give him money, but he gives me a stern look.)

Father: “No, you have to give me a real $1.70. You scratched it; now you have to pay it. That’s how it works.”

(I’m stunned into silence, and start panicking! I’m just a kid; I don’t have any money! I believed we were just pretending for the sake of explaining. Since he said to scratch it for real, I thought it did not matter and that we could just use it as a meaningless demonstration. I was certainly not aware we were making an actual transaction. After five seconds that are an eternity for me…)

Father: “It’s okay. I’m your father; I’ll pay it for you.”

(He went away with the card like everything was perfectly fine. Up to this day, I have no idea why he made me do it for real, knowing real money would have to be involved, and without a warning, or, why he could not simply explain with words only. But I swear I still have trust issues from the experience!)

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