I must admit I don't get away with very much, and I never have. It's not that I never try. It's just that whenever I try to get away with something, it always backfires.

I wish there were a class somewhere entitled, "How You Can Get Away with Anything." I certainly would sign up. But I haven't found it yet.

Every time I do something behind the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage's back, she always turns around. I don't know if she has eyes in the back of her head or if it's just women's intuition. Believe me, I will not investigate this subject.

The many times she has fooled me is beyond calculation. I am probably the easiest person to fool in all the world. A salesman, I am not.

As a kid, I made little dishes out of popsicle sticks. Then I went around the neighborhood to try to sell them. My sales pitch was, "You don't want to buy one of these, do you?"

I didn't sell any.

I complained to my mother, and she said, "You need to try again. Maybe this time it will work."

The next day I put together my material and went door to door in the neighborhood. Much to my surprise, everybody bought one of my little dishes.

I went home very excited and told my mother how many I sold. In the next couple of days, I worked to produce these little popsicle dishes. As I was working on them, I was whistling and sometimes singing.

Years later, I discovered the real story. Remember, Paul Harvey, who used to say, "Now for the rest of the story."

Behind my back, my mother called all the neighbors, up and down our street explaining the situation and asked them to purchase one of my popsicle dishes. I don't know this for sure, but she may have paid them to do that. I've never been able to find out the truth.

If you can’t put one over on me, you might as well hang up your boots and go to bed.

During this "in-house season," the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage put me on a diet. What am I to do? I'm not allowed in the kitchen because of the catastrophe that happened the last time I was in the kitchen. Don't ask.

She put together a diet for me that was supposed to be very healthy.

My diet is simply anything I can get into my mouth at the time. Barring, of course, vegetables. Her diet composed of nothing but vegetables.

Her idea is I am a little bit overweight. I then remind her of my favorite Bible verse that says, “all the fat is the Lord's” (Leviticus 3:16). When I quote this verse, I always smile and counter it with a grimace I cannot overcome.

She will pat my stomach and say, “That’s not what that verse means.”

Never argue with a wife, especially your wife.

All the cookies have been eradicated from our premises. Believe me, I've searched everywhere and I have not found one cookie crumb.

She made a mistake the other day. As we were sitting down to watch a little TV, she brought over one cookie and said, "Since you have been good with your diet, here is your reward."

I wish she would not have done that. Once I start something, I have an obsession with completing it. And believe me, when I say, one cookie doesn't complete the obsession.

I smiled and thanked her and graciously munched on the cookie.

That gave me an idea, I had to pass a little store the next day, and they sold cookies. I thought to myself, "Well, what's another cookie going to do to hurt me?"

I only bought one little bag of cookies; that's how disciplined I am. I thought one little bag could easily be hidden. At least that's what I thought.

When I got home, my wife was not there yet, so it allowed me time to conceal my little cookie obsession. I concealed it near my easy chair, so I could access it without her knowing it.

I love it when a plan comes together.

I forgot about the bag of cookies because days can get hectic. After supper, we sat down in the living room to relax and enjoy just a little TV. It suddenly dawned on me that I had a little stash of cookies underneath my chair. The more I thought of it, the more I thought of it.

During a commercial, my wife got up to go to the bathroom, so I thought this would be a great time to sneak a cookie. I reached under my chair to grab the bag of cookies, and I couldn't find it. I searched and searched and searched, and it wasn't there. I started to scratch my head and wonder where I put it.

Then my wife came into the room and said, "You weren't looking for this, were you?"

In her hand was the bag of cookies I hid under my chair.

Wearing a little grin on my face, I thought of a verse of Scripture, "But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Try as we might, our sin will finally catch up with us.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.

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