Up until this afternoon, I thought my soon-to-be 14 year-old son Ben would do pretty much anything for money.
Once, during a combined youth/adult sunday school class at church, I whispered in Ben’s ear that I would pay him $1000NT (about $30 U.S.) if he would raise his hand and make an intelligent comment. It took a total of one nano-second for Ben to raise his hand. Our bishop called on him immediately, and soon after I handed Ben a $1000NT bill.
Last month, when we were in the Taipei airport waiting for our flight to Bangkok, Ben’s older sister Cecily was mortified to realize that her chemistry teacher and her boyfriend were on our flight (the teacher’s boyfriend, not Cecily’s boyfriend; Cecily will undoubtedly want me to make that fact very clear). Cecily could see that her teacher was correcting the exams that the class had taken earlier that week. I told Ben that I would pay him $500NT (about $15) if he would walk up to the chemistry teacher, introduce himself as Cecily’s brother and ask what grade she got on her test. To Cecily’s horror, Ben was on his feet before I had a chance to exhale after making the offer. Ninety seconds later, he was taking a $500NT bill from my hand.
So given Ben’s willingness to do just about anything for money, today I thought I had made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. It was easy money! So, so easy! This is how it went down: I was in the lobby of the school waiting for Cecily when Ben happened by. It was just as both the middle and upper schools were letting out and kids were pouring into the lobby. Ben told me he was STARVING and asked if I would give him some money to go to the snack bar. I told him that I would give him $100NT (about $3 U.S) if he would kiss me on the cheek — right there, right then. (So, so easy!)
The look on his face said it all. He had met his match. I had found the one thing that he would not do for money. Kiss his mom in public.
(Cue the evil mom laugh).