insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child


Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]


Advertise Here

The executive stepped to the lectern, his stomach churning with nerves and the remnants of last night’s authentic Mexican food. Wonderful flavors. Wonderful and punishing, that is. This moment was shaping up to be a repeat of that theme. Investors, …...

[ Swap Article ]


Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

Fortune cookie bad set. death and robber on paper prediction. Vector illustration

Filed Under , on October 27th, 2018

Imaginative Cookies

By Seth Kabala

The executive stepped to the lectern, his stomach churning with nerves and the remnants of last night’s authentic Mexican food. Wonderful flavors. Wonderful and punishing, that is. This moment was shaping up to be a repeat of that theme. Investors, the public, the press–if he could convince them the board had the internal control and governance problems fixed, he’d keep his job.

Option A: public adulation. Option B: unemployed and possibly imprisoned.

After the latest exposes on the company were published in the major dailies, accusations of malfeasance and violation of fiduciary duties were swirling like the smell of manure hovering in the air on an Iowa country road. No matter how hard you tried, if you were going in that direction, you were going to get some on you.

In the seconds between when he faced the press corps, and their questions/accusations/missiles started flying at him, he remembered something a wise philosopher had said to him the night before: the difference between telling the truth and telling a believable lie is imagination.

He returned to present, opened the door to his right brain, and started painting a picture.

 * * *

Ella was playing a word scramble game on her iPod called Word Cookies. The game gives you four letters and various sets of blank spaces, ranging from two to four spaces in each set, in which to place the letters and form words. To select words, you drag your finger between the possible letters, located on a plate at the bottom of the screen, to form an unbroken line on the screen. When you lift your finger, if your line forms a word, the word will appear in the set of the same size.

Ella was stuck, so I offered to help. The letters were IELM. One of them was extra. I determined this to be the M, which left the answer obvious to me, but not wanting to give it away, I decided to give her hints. The following conversation ensued:

Me: When you’re fibbing and not telling us the truth, what’s that called?

Ella: Imagination?

This goes along with the bedtime activity in which we’ve been engaging lately: watching funny videos on YouTube. The kids like cat videos, fail vids, and generally any kind of multi-clip funny mash-up. Their latest favorite pick from the pile is smart-alec kids. Here are five of the best ones we’ve seen:

1. Girl (11 or 12) opens a birthday present. Training bras. She jumps around, excited. A man in the background speaks up. “You don’t need that, man.” he says. “And you don’t need cigarettes,” she says. “So we all have our differences.”

2. Girl (3 or 4), looking at an Alexa device, says, “Alexa.” Waits two seconds, then turns to the camera and says, concern rippling through her voice, “She’s dead!”

3. “My life is ruined,” says a girl (3 or 4). “Why?” the camera operator says. “Because I’m hungry,” girl says, sounding as though someone ate the last bowl of ice cream on earth.

4. “Don’t take it. Don’t take it!” A little girl (2 or 3) says when an adult tries to pry a spatula (presumably smeared with cookie dough) from her grip. Pause. Girl looks at camera, teeth barred, and says, “You might get hurt.”

5. “Listen, I don’t take sassy girls in the store with me,” Mom says to her girl (3 or 4) who’s sitting in a car-seat. “I don’t take naughty mommies in the store either,” the girl says,” arms akimbo in a mini power pose.

These kids all have one thing in common: quick wit. This would help them survive in prison, but why go that route? Seems a lot easier to surrender the spatula than to hold on ’til the bitter end and wind up in the pokey. But what do I know? Maybe that cookie dough was of the gods?

I don’t advocate lying and calling it imagination, unless you like having zero professional reputation, one choice of living arrangement (12 x 12 cell), one choice of paint color (dirty beige), and eating food that looks like a reincarnation of The Blob. I do, however, think this has opened an interesting psychological discussion. It takes imagination to lie, but the end sucks. How far do you take the imagination game?

If you win, you can paint your walls whatever color you choose.


Leave a Reply

Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


Shuffler's Luck

I never knew a card game could change my life. I'm not talking about a high-stakes poker game, where international gangsters vie for dominance in a world of chance, and if chance doesn't go their way, bullets will do as a nice substitute. I'm talking about a simple card game with suggestions for the...

[ Swap Article ]

Bully man

Meter Mensch

A co-worker of mine dropped her bus pass in the hall. Someone picked it up and handed it to her. She thanked the person, saying she was sure glad she hadn't lost it for good. I poked my head out of my office and said, "You just ruined a fare inspector's day." Got a good laugh, and it got me...

[ Swap Article ]

Chess board made of white and brown sugar with King

Sweetness and Dark

The street is dark. Cars line both sides, hugging the curbs. Streetlamps reflect off of glossy paint jobs and squeegeed windshields, creating alternative perspective art pieces from flipped aspect ratios of bent light. A breeze blows the evening fog up from the water. It lowers the ambient...

[ Swap Article ]

Holy Cow - handgezeichnete Illustration mit Pastellkreide in türkis

Couch Etymology

From where you sit, do you understand seated origin? The reason for said sitting? If not, you soon will. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Pop-art style poster with hipster deer dressed in yellow glasses and scarf, telling I am cool.

Toxic Bambi

Yesterday while I was writing, Ella, our seven-year-old, came up to me and said she had thought of a joke. "My first joke," she announced, pride streaming from her voice and face. I asked her what it was. Here's what she said, "What does [we'll say Bob] want to do for school? Me U. Get it? Me U...

[ Swap Article ]

World Map in Typography word cloud concept, names of countries

Plan for the Journey

Toastmasters is moving away from its physical manuals and static speech-making program into a dynamic program called Pathways. On January 10, 2019, I delivered my first speech in Pathways: a re-imagination of my ice-breaker speech. If you don't know me, know this: if you give me a rubric, I will...

[ Swap Article ]


Battle of the Sarcasticons

I’m raising a band of Little Sarcasticons. Defined term? Yes, yes it is. You can find it in the Kabala Book of Sarcasticisms. New chapters available daily. No longer must we be constrained in our sarcastic witticism production. Oh, no, folks. Netflix has joined the charge with their resurrection...

[ Swap Article ]

Secondhand word cloud

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #20

Some vehicles bring lackluster competitive spirit to dancing competitions. Despite their nimble construction, most compact models lack the energy to stick it out in the most heated scenarios. Then you've got the ones who were made for dancing. Made for not just cruising down the road, but for...

[ Swap Article ]

Plumbing Speed Logo Icon Design

Speed Plumbing

The pipe masters ascended the stairs and entered the arena. They'd come a long way, building rudimentary structures to escape cribs and punish bullies as children, graduating to more complicated designs as adolescents and adults. Mario had been especially proud of his design that transported him...

[ Swap Article ]

Businessman Drawing on the Whiteboard. Pop Art

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #19

A few months ago, I decided to write a daily quote on my office wall. No, I’m not an irascible child who will not be contained in my creative fury. I have a whiteboard that I use for quote purposes and other work stuff. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Funny broken furnitures trash pile

Backyard of Doom

The kids left detritus lying all over the yard during a recent play session. When I went out later to bring the garbage cans up from the curb, it was like Indiana Jones making his way through the Temple of Doom, stumbling over a rubber rain boot, high stepping over the top of an old bar-stool,...

[ Swap Article ]