The Question is - Was It a Sting Operation

Last June, I wrote a column telling the story about taking “Clark” to school for his kindergarten DIAL screening and the results of that screening. In the column that I titled, “A one footed Kangaroo.” I told how “Clark’ passed all his fine motor skills and concepts tests, but failed to pass the test they called gross motor experiences, (jumping, throwing, hopplng, etc.). In other words. “Clark” proved he was very bright, but to say the least, not very athletic.

“Clark” is in kindergarten now, and he proved one thing Friday…you can’t always believe test scores. We knew he would do fine in class, but we were convinced that any athletic abilities would probably take him a little longer to perfect.

Friday, his school held a fund raiser called an Amer-A-Thon. An Amer-A-Thon is a fun run type event, all the students participate in to raise money for new school equipment. Pledge letters are sent to friends and relatives of the student, and in return they can pledge an amount of money for each lap that they think the runner can complete. The pledges were, $10, $5. $2, $1.50. $1 or 50 cents a lap The length of the lap for the kids from kindergarten to second grade was 110 yards. In a twenty minute time limit, the kids had to run, jog or walk this 110 yard course as many times as they could without pooping out.

Knowing “Clark’s” history of athletic achievements and co-ordination, I marked all the mailers to our friends and relatives as…“not fast.” We pledged $5 a lap, thinking he would run the course maybe eight or ten times. After all, what little money it would cost, would be going for a good cause. His Grandpa pledged $1.50 a lap and I know that several friends pledged $1 or 50 cents a lap Now at $1 or 50 cents a lap, it couldn’t cost much, betting on a kid who couldn’t pass the co-ordination test on his kindergarten en- trance exam–this had to be a safe bet.

The big Amer-A-Thon day arrived and the stage was set. He took off running, then about five times around the track, he started to slow down. This is when we thought…this is it, a couple more times around and we can stop counting our five dollar bills every time he passes by. Little did we know, he wasn’t slowing down to stop, he was slowing down to put his plan into action. He figured out if you run fast down the hill and walk up the hill, you can keep on going, and keep going he did. He ran and walked around that 110 yard course 21 times in twenty minutes, without stopping. 21 laps at $5 a lap was $105 out of Dad and Mom’s charitable pocketbook, and at $1.50 a lap was $31.50 out of his Grandpa’s Social Security check. He not only made less than a truth teller out of his old Mom and DIAL testing, he gave a few friends and relatives tax deductions for a generous charity donation.

I have heard from one friend about her 50 cent pledge that ended up costing her $10.50. Her words were, “In June you told us that he has the co-ordination of a one footed kangaroo, and now you say he ran over a mile in twenty minutes?

I suppose they could suspect that this was the Massey Sting, but I think we were all victims of the oldest kids scam in the world…just call it a plain old sting…kindergarten style.