Wouldn’t it be nice if life came with a big eraser for memories and events we would just as soon forget? What if we could destroy the evidence, thereby removing the proof of our past transgressions?
My mother asked me to examine her prized end tables and give my opinion on what, if anything could be done to restore them to prime condition. They were a wedding gift from Grandpa on her merger with Dad back in the 1950’s. With all the nicks and marks, the tables were showing their age.
I promised to take the tables to my shop and refinish them. And then I saw the evidence of a scandalous crime. No child in his right mind carves hearts and initials in Mom’s furniture, no child except someone with the initials JN. I was not thinking or I would have kept the discovery to myself, but I chuckled and asked aloud, “Wonder who MS is?” And that opened a can of worms I can never shut again.
There is no statute of limitations for a crime of this nature. Mom never forgets anything and was certain JN is me. My wife took the opportunity to join in and increase my discomfort by needling me about the identity of the illusive MS. I will confess I had a couple of girlfriends before I met Shawn, even received the gift of mono at my first grade birthday party. I remember some of the ladies who captured my heart, but I cannot recall an MS.
I took the logical escape route and blamed this crime on my brother, Jeff. His initials match, and he was an expert wood carver. Besides, he is no longer around to defend himself. I can declare with certainty and no fear of his contradiction, “It wasn’t me!”
Curiosity drove me to pull out the junior high and senior high year books. Jeff was a couple of years behind me and there was a good chance I could find MS by some simple detective work. No luck.
I contacted Jeff’s closest friend from school and was told “Jeff was pretty shy back then. I don’t think he would engrave his initials for all to see. Good luck with this one. Just remind your wife after you met her you forgot about all the other girls.”
My wife howled with laughter when she read that response and in her estimation I was convicted, sentenced, and ready to do my time. What now? How can I disentangle myself from this nightmare of days gone by?
With furniture stripper, 220 grit sandpaper, and a bit of elbow grease, I have those tables looking brand new. The telltale heart has been sanded away, and the mystery of MS is lost in the sawdust on the shop floor. Whew!
My Grandpa used to quote a Bible verse to me.
Number 32:23 – “… be sure your sin will find you out.”
Jeff, you got caught!