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Fiction Funny

“The wisdom that poured from his mouth was mind-blowing.” Roger, a college student, said to his parents as they sat around the dinner table. “I mean, the things he taught me about life and how to be successful in business were worth a college education.” His black hair kept falling into his eyes as he gesticulated his excitement.

“You mean the guy you met on the airplane?” His dad, Jim, asked.

“Yeah! Haven't you been listening?” Roger laughed and shook his head. “He has changed my life!”

“This guy you just met on the airplane?” Jim raised his eyebrows.

“Yeah, it must have been meant to be. The stars lined up and sat me right next to Peter Wingate. Can you believe it? Peter Wingate? How wild is that?” Roger said and then took a bite of mashed potatoes.

“Who is Peter Wingate?” Roger’s mother, Sue, walked in with a pitcher of sweet tea and placed it on the table, and sat down.

“He’s this super famous guy in the world of business. He wrote, like over a dozen ebooks and speaks all over the country. I'm surprised you haven't heard of him, like on the news or something.” Roger said as he poured some tea into his glass.

“Well, I don't watch the news nowadays,” Sue said while cutting her pork tenderloin with her fork. “It’s just negative all the time.”

“Well, if you did, you would see him on it. Well, that is, the part of the news that covers business stuff.” Roger cut a massive piece and stuffed it into his mouth. He tried to say that he couldn’t believe that Peter Wingate talked to him, but what came out was so jumbled by the food in his mouth neither parent could understand.

“Don’t talk with food in your mouth, dear,” Sue said.

Swallowing his food, Roger said more clearly, “I can’t believe he even talked to me. It was the greatest moment of my life.”

“Are you really saying this guy you just met was the greatest thing that ever happened to you?” Jim had a tone in his voice that clearly said he could not believe what he was hearing. “I mean, you just met this guy. You don't know anything about him.”

“Seriously, Dad, you really are losing your hearing. I've been telling you about him since you picked me up from the airport.”

“But you’re only telling me what Peter Wingate told you about himself,” Jim said while absentmindedly pointing his butter knife at Roger, then used it to cut his pork tenderloin.

“Exactly. So I don't understand why you keep saying I don't know anything about Peter Wingate.”

“But…that’s not how…you don’t just take a…haven’t I raised you to be more careful of who you trust?”

“That's why I know I can trust him; because of what you've taught me; you taught me to see if a person is trustworthy. And believe me, Peter Wingate looks trustworthy.”

Jim about choked on his food. “He LOOKS trustworthy?”

“Oh, and that reminds me. Could you loan me three thousand bucks?

Now Jim did choke on his food. “What? Why? Why do you need three thousand dollars?”

“Peter Wingate has a financial course online, teaching all kinds of business stuff, and he only charges three thousand to take it. He said it would teach me as much as college but only take twelve weeks and cost a fraction. So, how I see it, I’m saving you money.” 

“How could you believe a twelve-week course would be better than a college education? I don’t trust this guy. He sounds like a con man. Have you looked Peter Wingate up on the internet? Or ask one of your financial professors? Or did anything except take Peter Wingate’s word?”

“Not fair! You know the internet is untrustworthy, and all my professors are on Christmas break. Besides, I can't get any closer to first-hand knowledge than the man himself.”

“Ok, Roger. Let me put it this way. I won't even consider giving you any money until we look into this guy. Understand?

“If you met him. You would know he’s not a scammer, but whatever.” Roger spooned some mashed potatoes in his mouth and refused to look at his dad.

“Now you went and upset him, Jim. Why must you two behave this way?” Sue said as firmly as her tiny frame would allow. “I'm not taking a side, but perhaps we should search for him on Google just to be safe.” She pulled out her phone, tapped the Google app, and typed “Peter Wingate” in the search bar. His site, peterwingate.com, was the first result listed. “Oh. Is this the guy you met?” She showed Roger her phone.

“Yep. That's him.” 

“He’s very handsome and looks like a legitimate financial guy.”

“Give that to me.” Jim grabbed her phone. “What do you mean he looks like a financial guy? What are they supposed to look like?”

“Well, I mean, he looks confident and well-to-do. He’s sharply dressed.” Sue paused, thinking of another reason. “He just looks like one. Now please give me my phone.”

“If you stopped ogling his pic, you would see that he’s promising to make a millionaire out of anyone who goes through his entire course. Imagine that. Promising anyone…I mean, the arrogance…all you have to do is complete HIS course. That settles it for me. He’s a fraud!” Jim handed her phone back.

“How can you say that? You haven't even given him a chance.” Roger didn't shout, but he wasn't quiet when he said this either. “If you just talked with him for five minutes, you would see what I see.”

“I’m sure such a famous man like Peter Wingate would be far too busy to take my call?“

“He gave me his personal cell number. I have it right here.” Roger pulled out a small piece of paper from his back pocket. “I dare you to call him.”

“You bet I will. Give me that.” Jim punched in the number. “Is this Peter Wingate?”

Roger and his mom tried to hear the other side of the conversation, but all they heard was mumbling.

“I’m Roger Spielman’s dad.”

“Well, thank you. We think he’s great too, but I called to ask…”

“Well, I know he’s talented.”

“You think so?”

“A millionaire, huh?”

“Well, who wouldn't want to be a millionaire?”

“Us? I never thought we would be.”

“Well, with what you just said, I'm starting to believe we could be.”

“Yes. I see what you mean. So it's not like I would be spending three thousand, but more like investing three thousand. I get it. That sounds reasonable. So if we both took the course, there would be a discount?”

“What the heck! Sign us both up.”

“I’ll just use my card.”

Jim gave his card number, expiration date, and the CVS number on the back of his card.

“Don’t you think we should…” Sue tried to interrupt, but Jim held up a finger to keep her quiet. 

“I can hardly wait to get started,” Jim said.

You too. Goodbye.”

Jim ended the call. He laid his phone on the table and took a long drink of sweet tea. “Well, Roger, I like to think that I'm big enough to admit when I was wrong. And I was definitely wrong. Peter Wingate is clearly the real deal. What a guy. I mean, when he explained his course and how we can become millionaires, no, I mean will become millionaires. I got so excited, I about peed my pants. The wisdom that poured from his mouth was mind-blowing.”

Roger joined in his dad’s excitement, but Sue just stared at both of them with a look that said, what just happened?

“Jim. Did you just spend six thousand dollars?” Sue asked.

“Not really. We got a discount, and besides, it’s more like we invested nearly six thousand dollars.”

“‘We?’ I don't remember there being a ‘we.’ You did this all by yourself! What in the world did Peter Wingate say to make you change your mind so quickly?”

“The wisdom about finances…” 

“Yes! Yes! You mentioned wisdom.” Sue interrupted.

“It’s not just that; it’s everything he said,” Jim said.

“You see, I told you, all you have to do is talk with him, and you’ll understand,” Roger said.

“Yes, that’s it. Hon, you need to talk to him yourself, and then you will understand.” Jim held out the piece of paper.

She snatched it and dialed furiously. “I’ll get our money back. That’s what I’ll do.” The phone rang. “Hello. This is Jim Spielman’s wife. Roger’s mother.”

The men eased closer to hear the other side of the conversation, but all they could hear was mumbling.

“I sound mad because I am mad!”

“Well, that would make me feel better. Would you refund the whole amount?”

“I can see what you mean, and I do believe in investing.”

“Of course, I want to be a part. If you think that just because I’m a woman…”

“My misunderstanding. I didn’t mean to accuse you.”

“You know what! I do want to sign up too.”

“Yes, the card my husband used will work.”

“Thank you. I look forward to it.”

“You too. Bye.”

Sue ended the call. Put her phone on the table and looked at them. “I can't believe it. We're going to be millionaires!”

May 26, 2023 02:33

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1 comment

Mary Bendickson
04:00 May 26, 2023

Oh, come on... You have to give us his number! We all want to be millionaires!


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