Don't Try to Sell an FBI Agent Day-Old Lemonade
By Laura K. Bedingfield on July 18, 2012
Featured Member Post
Last week, our doorbell rang and I found a large badge pushed up to my face which didn’t belong to your run-of-the-mill police officer. Oh no. The badge came attached to the arm of an agent in the FBI. The Eff Bee Eye, people.
I was in the process of loading up my 2 younger boys, so we could fetch the oldest boy from basketball camp. As I had no back-up for carpooling, I had to explain to the very large FBI agent who was sporting a very visible gun that, no, I actually wasn’t available for a discussion at this moment.
To be fair, I knew this was coming. A dear friend of mine, whom we’ll call Ms. M., is in line for a pretty nifty job up in DC, and she needs federal security clearance. My friend listed me as one of her myriad contacts who could vouch that she doesn’t secretly run a puppy mill or moonlight as an exotic dancer. So I had it on my radar that I might be contacted by the FBI, but I did not expect the sneak attack. If I’d known, I’d have taken a shower and made the boys disassemble their blanket-and-sofa-cushion fort which currently took up 1/2 of the living room. And we would have taken down the lemonade stand that incorporated our mailbox as a distribution center. The feds get a little ticky about the mail, you know.
“When do you expect to return?” the agent asked. I stuttered a bit as I answered her. “Great. I’ll wait for you in the cul-de-sac.” Ok, then.
A bit later, my oldest son, Jack, climbed into the car and before he could put down his basketball, Tucker immediately announced “there’s a police officer at the house, waiting for Mama!” I realized right then that I needed to prep the boys, if for no other reason than to explain to them some critical behavioral expectations.
“Really? A police officer? What did you do, Mom?” Jack asked, perking up.
“Guys, she’s not a police officer. She’s actually an FBI Agent,” I replied.
“She has a badge! And a gun!” Tucker offered.
“FBI?” said Jack. “You must be in big trouble.”
I explained to them about Ms. M., whom they know and love dearly, and that I wasn’t in trouble. The conversation then proceeded as follows:
Jack: Can you lie to them?
Me: No. I’ll be under oath. Why would I lie? You know we don’t lie.
Tucker: So you have to tell her about all the bad things you’ve done?
Me: Huh? I haven’t done any bad things…
Tucker: Well, you like to drink wine. And you yell at us sometimes.
Jack: Ooh, I know another name for steroids: GYM CANDY!
Theo: I want some gym candy!!
Tucker: What’s gym candy?
Me: Illegal drugs.
Tucker: Like Popster selling drugs?
[Popster is their grandfather who is a pharmacist.]
Me: Yes. But Popster sells medicine legally.
Jack: So what’s the difference between a promise and an oath?
Me: An oath is a promise you take under the law, so you can get in big trouble if you lie.
Tucker: So are you going to lie about Popster selling drugs?
Me: Popster is a pharmacist, Tucker. It’s his job to sell medicine.
Theo: Give me some gym candy, Jack.
Jack: Is Ms. M. going to be a security guard?
Tucker: Maybe the FBI lady will buy some lemonade from me.
Me: You will not try to sell the FBI agent any lemonade.
Tucker: How about a bird call? Or some gerbil art? I bet she’d like to buy some gerbil art.
Jack: So why is gym candy illegal?
At this point, we were closing in on our house, and I could see the FBI lady waiting for me, perched like a clove on a baked ham in her nondescript vehicle next to our driveway. I also had the giggles in a bad way, what with all that gerbil art and gym candy talk. What was intended as a simple confirmation interview was on the way to making me look like I had something to hide.
I’d barely closed the door behind me when the agent was ringing our front door bell again. Theo ran to answer it while I shooed our dogs outside. She walked in and all 3 boys stared up at her like she had 3 heads. Please don’t say anything, please don’t say anything, I mentally begged my sons.
Spylady and I went in to the living room, stepping around critical parts of the blanket fort, where she proceeded to ask me question after question about Ms. M., which I bungled again and again. If I’d been the agent, I would have ditched the inquisition on Ms. M. and cut to the chase. It looked like I had multiple things I was hiding, including possible bodies in the basement.
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