Friday, April 09, 2004

Report: Day 37 

My official Benrick task was to go to a restaurant, order food, and then ditch the bill. This is illegal. Technically it is called stealing. I was not at all comfortable stealing from a local small business person. However, as I have committed to this total transformation "radical style" I needed to find a way to live up to the Benrick task anyway. So I decided that while stealing from a restaurant was wrong, stealing from my friends and co-workers would be fun.

Here was my master plan. Two days ahead of time I invited a co-worker to lunch. I intended to go with him to a restaurant, order lunch as I ordinarily would, and near the end of the meal excuse myself to the bathroom and simply never come back, essentially sticking him with the bill. Sounds hilarious, no? I figured, I'd take him out to lunch for real next week and make it up to him and we'd all laugh about that time he was just waiting for me to return, but I never did.


I had everything in place until another co-worker, hip to my Benrick scheme, filled him in. I received the following phone call in my office at about 11:30

"This is Brian."

"Did you--um--hey. Why did you invite me to lunch today?"

"Well, we don't really know each other that well and whatever. I just thought we should have lunch."

"Because, R---- told me that you were Benricking me."


"Yeah. She said that you were going to stick me with the bill."

"Oh. Well, yeah, that was the plan."

"I don't think I can have lunch with you today."

"No, it was to facilitate my total transformation 'radical style.' I wasn't trying to be evil. I was trying to be hilarious."

"Well, I think that stinks."

So my lunch plans were completely shot. I started to scramble. I hastily called a number of friends who were unaware of my day's task and asked them to dinner, but to a person they all had other plans or obligations. It was simply too short notice. I began to despair.

But then I got a call from Bevin because she knew that I had this master plan to screw over a co-worker at lunch time and she didn't want to wait for this blog entry to find out how it went. "I have no plans tonight," she said subtly.

I decided to take a risk. "Bevin, do you want to have dinner with me later?"

"Why yes, Brian," she replied. "What a splendid idea."

So Bevin and I went to dinner and at the end of the meal, I ditched her with the bill just as I'd planned. It wasn't as effective as ditching someone who didn't know my intention, but because of Bevin's marvelous play acting it was still in line with the Benrick directive. I'll leave it to her to tell you what happened in the restaurant after I left. Pester her to write about it, she was completely invested.

Today is spend some time in church day.

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