The Price of Easy Points

This past Monday, a sore throat kept my seven-year old home from school. My wife was busy, and his little brother came home from school at 1:30, which meant I ended up essentially taking the day off.

By evening, we were all ready to get out of the house, so I suggested the only cure I know for a sore throat: milk shakes. Steak and Shake milkshakes to be precise.

On the way, though, I thought I’d score a few easy points with my oldest. “Hey big guy,” I said. “Since you’re the sick one, I’ll let you choose. Where would you like to eat?”

It was, I thought, a safe question. He loves Steak and Shake, and we’d been talking about Steak and Shake, and we were almost at Steak and Shake. So, naturally, he said “Macaroni Grill.” 

“No!” his little brother wailed.  “Steak and Shake! You said we could go to Steak and Shake!”

Now I was in trouble.

“Are you sure?” I asked the big guy. “Steak and Shake is really good. I don’t think they even have shakes at the Macaroni Grill.”

“Yeah,” he said. “How about Sonny’s? Or that place where they cook the food at your table?”

That’s when the light dawned. I’d given him the power, and he was going to use it.

“No!” His little brother was crying now. “I love Steak and Shake! You said Steak and Shake!”

“I know,” I said, pulling into the Steak and Shake parking lot, “but I also said he could pick.”

“But it’s not fair! You said Steak and Shake!”

“What about Burger King?” the big guy asked. “We haven’t been there in a long time.”

“How about Steak and Shake?” I asked. “Your brother really wants to go to Steak and Shake. I do to.”

“Mmmm… No,” he said. “I don’t feel like Steak and Shake.”

“NO,” his brother wailed. “IT’S NOT FAIR!”

I’ll spare you the gory details of the rest of that conversation. We ended up at Macaroni Grill, and had a great time. Afterwards, we swung by Steak and Shake to get some milk shakes to go.

…and I’ll never try to score easy points again.

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