I parked the car in front of the house where Jane’s Destination Imagination team was meeting. We were early.
“I hope Jane hurries out,” Daryl said anxiously. “I’ve got this peach jelly bean I saved for her.” He held his hand out and showed it to me. I glanced at it wistfully. Why hadn’t he saved one for me?
“We are early. She won’t be out for another 10 minutes or so,” I said, instead of asking for the jelly bean.
Shortly after that, Hal called out, “Sissy! Hurry up! Bubba has a barf cherry jelly bean for you!”
“What are you talking about, Hal?” Daryl asked. “It’s a peach jelly bean.”
“Oh, yeah,” Hal said. Sometime later, he mentioned vomit again and Daryl asked him why he kept talking about barf. I repeated the question but nothing struck me other than the fact that he’s six years old and into that kind of stuff.
Eventually, Jane came out and Daryl promptly and enthusiastically offered her the jelly bean.
“No thank you, Daryl,” she said, sounding just slightly put out. I was just about to reach back and say I’d take it when her tone started to sink in.
“I’ll take it!” Hal called out cheerfully.
“No, don’t,” Jane warned. “You don’t want that jelly bean – trust me. It’s going to taste nasty.”
Hal screamed out in disgust and began spitting out the window. Daryl began to laugh. Jane announced that she had warned him and he should listen to her. Hal broke down in a major crying fit and yelled in a pitiful voice, “Bubba is always giving me the barf jelly beans!”
I tried to get through to him over his wails, “I don’t get it, Hal. You already knew it was a barf jelly bean. You even called it one while we were waiting for Jane.”
“Well! I didn’t know!”
“Yes, yes you did. You even called it that. Why would you eat it when you knew what it was?”
Jane then explained to him the trick of cracking open the candy and smelling it before taking your chances. There was apparently a chance that this one really was a peach jelly bean. But a nasty chance that it was not.
Fast forward to dinner. Daddy came home near the end of the meal and as he ate, the rest of us talked. I told him the tale of the barf jelly bean. He shook his head.
“Why did you eat it, Hal?” he asked. Everyone was laughing and Hal buried his face in shame. “He’d already done it to you once today! Why would you try another one?”
“Well, I didn’t know!”
“Sure you did. You were in the car when he said it was a win-win situation for him. Either it’d be a peach jelly bean and she’d thank him or it’d be a barf jelly bean and he’d get to laugh at her. You knew.”
Hal wasn’t happy that everyone was laughing at his expense, and I know it wasn’t nice, but it was so shocking that he had all that pre-information plus his own personal experience plus his sister’s direct warning, all that afternoon, and he still trusted his brother.
“Don’t worry,” his Daddy said as he comforted him. “You won’t always be this gullible.”