I'm quite certain of it.
For after I returned from a fundraising breakfast for a young mother with terminal cancer, a stint at work delivering Thanksgiving baskets to the homes of the area's poor, and attending my 27-year-old cousin's profoundly sad and troubling wake. . . .well, the only thing in life I was sure of was the fact that I had a total of $80 in my wallet.
And yet, later in the evening, when I pulled out my wallet to pay the take-out-delivery guy (What? Don't tell me you would cook after a day like that????) there were clearly only three twenties in there.
And so I proceeded to launch an investigation - starting with the most-likely culprit first:
Me: Ponzi, did you, by chance, take a twenty dollar bill from my wallet this afternoon?
Ponzi: No, I asked you for five dollars. Remember? And you told me I couldn't take it and you told me to get a job.
Me: Exactly. . . .
Ponzi: But I didn't, Mom! Wouldn't that have been stupid of my to ask for five and take twenty instead?
Me: But I only had twenties in my wallet. And remember how you told me you couldn't apply for a job now. . . you know. . . cause who would hire someone with a big black eye???
Ponzi: I didn't take it, Mom! I swear! It must have been Trigger!
And so the scope of my investigation widened to another bedroom.
Me: Trigger? Did you, by chance, take $20 from my wallet this afternoon?
Trigger: No Mom! Why would I do a think like that? You know I came home from college broke with no money left in my bank account!
Me: Exactly. . . .
Trigger: So if I went and bought something you would have seen it and then you would have known that I didn't have the money for it and you probably would have thought that I stole the money from you and I don't care what you think but I'm not that stupid Mom!
Me: Not if you used it on coffee. . . or tanning. . . or makeup. . . how would I notice a thing like that? You were gone an awfully long time after you dropped Ponzi off at her friend's house. For all I know, it could still be in your wallet.
Trigger: Oh. My. God!!! You can look in my wallet if you want to. You already know I'm broke. . .
So there you have it, my friends. The investigation is at a stand still. I'm thinking of running fingerprint checks on both of them (you know. . . like I do with all the unwitting church volunteers.) And the dog. I'm considering having her paw-printed too while I'm at it . . .
Alright.. . I know you all have a theory as to where that $20 went. So you might-as-well go ahead and say it here. . .
When you live in a den with liars and thieves, you can no longer afford to be proud.
Quite literally. . .