Clara came in from the garage carrying a pound of ground beef. She ran up the stairs and gave it to her mother. When she came back down she had a strange look on her face.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” I asked.
“Well…” she squirmed uncomfortably. “I just gave some meat to Mom. And… Dad, it had a ONE on it.” She frowned.
I raised my eyebrows and waited for her to explain.
“One!” she said again, emphatically holding up a single finger.
“Oh yeah? That’s cool,” I turned back to what I was doing.
“No Dad. Wait! It’s not cool,” she shook her head. “Think Dad. One dollar for meat? Only one dollar? That’s not enough right? That’s some really cheap meat.”
“Soooo…” she continued, “Why would they sell meat for just a dollar? I think it’s probably because the meat is really old or bad and they really needed to get rid of it. So, instead of throwing it away they put a one on it so people would get excited ‘Oh look! Cheap meat!’ and they would buy it all up not knowing that it was really gross. And now I’m sad because they tricked mom into buying meat for a dollar.”
“Huh,” I said, looking around the room for any hidden cameras.
“Huh… So, you came up with all of this yourself?”
She sighed, as if the burden of genius was heavy on her neck and shoulders. She nodded sadly.
“Well,” I assured her. “I doubt the beef only cost one dollar. I think what you saw was that it was just one pound of beef. But either way, we can trust mom to buy us good meat for dinner.”
She seemed unconvinced. She seemed even more unconvinced later on at the dinner table when her mother placed a plate piled high with meat in front of her. She turned and looked at me with a frantic disgusted look. Her lips peeled back in a grimace and her eyes strangely wide. “It’s cheap meat, Dad,” she quickly whispered while her mother had walked away.
I pointed a fork at her and whispered back, “Clara, eat your dinner. It’s not cheap meat. It’s good meat.” I took a fork full and put it in my mouth, “Mmm… Now, that’s good meat. Not at all from the bargain bin.”
She slowly looked down at her plate and hesitantly sunk a fork deep into the steaming brown pile.