Philip and the Loser


Philip and Emery dread their school assignment: perform an activity demonstrating brotherhood. Philip gets an inspiration, though, when a neighbor tells him about her women’s club fair which will raise money for charity. He and Emery decide to create a game for the fair and donate the money they collect. Creating a game proves more difficult than they thought, especially when Leon, Emery’s unlucky cousin, shows up to help out. Can Philip and Emery deliver their game on time, or will Leon’s monumental bad luck prove their undoing?

“Now what?” Emery asked glumly.  

“We’ll try something else, that’s what,” Philip replied sharply.  

“I know we’ll try something else. But what something else?”  

Philip thought a moment. “You mentioned three games before, when I asked you. The cats, the ring toss. I forgot the third one?”  

“Balloons,” he said. “Throwing darts at balloons.”  

“Oh yeah,” said Philip, perking up. “Busting balloons. That’s gotta be an easy game to make. Find some darts and blow up some balloons. We should have thought of balloons first. You know what you have to get, right?”  

Emery gave Philip a puzzled look. “Darts and balloons?”  


“Oh, one more thing,” said Emery with a knowing smile.  


“Darts, balloon, board.” Emery emphasized the word “board” because he thought of it first, not Philip.  

“Bored? What do mean bored? This is no time to get bored. You better stay interested until we’re done.”  

“I’m interested,” said Emery, offended by Philip’s accusation.  

“So, why’d you say you were bored?”  

“I didn’t say I was bored.”  

“You did,” Philip said, his voice rising. “You said darts and balloons and then you shouted out you were bored.  

“I never said I was bored. I said darts, balloon and board,” Emery insisted in the same voice as before.  

“There! You said it again! You said bored!”  

“I said board, but I’m not bored.”  

Philip glared at Emery and in a slow, patient voice said, “If you’re not bored, then why did you say you were bored?”  

In an equally slow and patient voice, Emery said. “I didn’t say I was bored. I said we needed a board. We have to have something to put the balloons on, don’t we?”  

Philip continued to stare quietly at his friend. “Why do you always do that?” he finally asked.  

“Always do what?”  

“Say one thing when you mean something else.”  

“I didn’t say one thing and mean something else.”  

“You did. You said bored but you meant board.”  

Emery narrowed his eyes and stared back. He thought carefully for a moment and then replied. “Right, I when I said board, I meant board. You thought I meant bored, but I didn’t mean bored. I meant board. See? You get confused because you’re always yelling and not understanding me.”


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