Part 1 - Chapter 13 - An Eventful Birthday

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The following Monday, out of the blue, Director Boone called me to his office. My heart hammered in my throat. What had I done wrong? When I entered, he told me to remain standing, not a good sign.

He must have read my troubled expression. "Be at ease, Sing. I'm here to ask you to do something for me."

Wanting to make sure, I asked, "I'm not in trouble?"

"No." He reached into his wallet and removed a dollar bill, held it up vertically gripping the edge of the bill at one of the short ends.

"What's that for?"

"An experiment. Hold out your thumb and forefinger like a crab pincher near the bottom edge of this dollar bill."

I hesitated. What was this all about?

"This isn't a trick. I just want to see something."

Although I remained skeptical, I did as he asked and held out my thumb and finger.

"I'm going to let go of my end of the bill," Boone said. "When I do so, see if you can catch it."

Didn't think that to be much of a challenge

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Didn't think that to be much of a challenge. And it wasn't. As soon as I saw the bill falling, I pinched it.

Boone raised an eyebrow. "I'll make it more challenging. This time hold your pincher near the middle of the bill instead of at the end."

I handed the bill back to him, and we repeated the test. I caught it with no problem. Wasn't much of a game to me.

"One more time," Boone said. "Hold your pincher directly under my fingers."

I shrugged and did as he asked. Boone held the bill in place for a long time, probably in an attempt to get me to relax my focus, but I wouldn't fall for it. I concentrated. As soon as Boone released the bill, I caught it. Close one, though. Snagged it at the very edge.

Boone took a step back. "Not one person in a thousand can do that."

"It's not that hard."

"And not one person in a hundred-thousand can catch flies in mid-air," he continued.

"You watched me do that with your security cameras?"

"I watch everything."

"I've always been able to catch flies." Imitating a prize fighter, I danced in-place and shadow boxed the air. "Lightning quick reflexes. I can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, just like Mohammed Ali."

My antics made Boone smile. "Not bad at poetry, either."

I stopped my clowning around and held out the bill to give it back.

"Keep it," Boone said. "You earned it."

"In that case, why didn't you use a hundred instead of a one?"

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