Favorite red pen

One night during the holidays I was watching a college football bowl game on TV, the Las Vegas Bowl, featuring Oregon State and BYU. It was a game I was interested in only because I was running a bowl game contest and my own pick to win the game was getting hammered. At the end, after a decisive win by BYU, I reached for my favorite red felt-tip pen to grade everyone’s pick sheets, only to discover my pen wasn’t on the library table where I left it. I looked all over for my pen. I looked in and around my own small neat stack of projects. I also dug around Cyndi’s piles of papers and stuff. No pen.

Then Cyndi came into the library to ask how the game was going (she was entered in the bowl game contest as well, which was the only reason she cared who won). I said, “Bad. We all got slammed.” Then I added, “But I can’t find my favorite red pen. Do you see it anywhere on this table?”

“You took it into the kitchen and left it on the counter. I put it away in the drawer to keep it safe for you.”

“I’m sure I didn’t put it in the kitchen. Why would I take my pen in there?” I could tell she was starting to walk toward the kitchen and plant my pen in the drawer to make her own story plausible, so I jumped up out of my chair to get there before she did. We ended up race walking through the house. I tried to bump her off against the entertainment center but she slipped around me just in time. She did have a head start, after all.

She pulled out the drawer near the refrigerator and grabbed my red pen and held it up. I don’t know how she palmed it into the drawer without my noticing; slight-of-hand tricks have never been Cyndi’s style.

“Why is my favorite red pen in there?” I asked.

“You left it in here on the counter.”

“No I didn’t.”

Then I noticed the freshly-baked sugar cookies piled on the counter and I got distracted. I looked for the telltale pile of rejected brown-bottomed “family cookies” that would be acceptable for eating, but I didn’t see them. Cyndi noticed my subtle glance and offered me a cookie. She said, “I can’t believe you would sneak your pen in here on the counter just so you could get a cookie.”

“Well, I don’t believe it, either. I’m pretty sure that isn’t what happened. And besides, I’ve been hinting around all evening about you sharing your cookies but you just kept ignoring me.”

“So you snuck your pen into the kitchen?”

“So you smuggled my pen off the library table and hid it in this drawer?”

Well, I would have kept arguing but now my mouth was full of delicious freshly-baked sugar cookie and I could no longer speak clearly. It was a primo cookie, not even from the family pile. I took my pen from Cyndi and went back to the library to grade my stack of bowl game pick sheets.

However, once I finished, I left my pen in the middle of the table, hoping Cyndi might sneak it away again. I heard she was planning to bake her famous cinnamon roles next and I couldn’t wait.


“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32

To learn more about Berry’s newest book, “Running With God:” http://www.runningwithgodonline.com/

Follow Berry on Twitter at @berrysimpson … Contact Berry directly: berry@stonefoot.org

To post a comment or subscribe to this free journal: http://journalentries.typepad.com/journal-entries/