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Little Brown LiesTo James Lineberger's previous piece     We Shall All Be ChangedTo James Lineberger's next piece


Charles had promised
the receptionist
that he would ask Uri to bend
a spoon for her after the meeting
broke up, but Uri, always
unpredictable, declined the woman's 
request.   Picking up a spoon 
from the silver tea service on
the receptionist's desk, he rubbed
it thoughtfully between his
thumb and forefinger as he studied
the group of production people,
writers, and directors assembled outside
of the office.  His eyes locked
with mine.  "You," he said, "come with
me."  I walked out with him to
the elevators, passing close to the livid
receptionist, who accepted UFO's, 
alien abductions, and Uri without question, 
and had brought 
her own monogramed spoon 
to preserve the evidence and hand it over,
she said, to the CIA to prove to the
bastards once and for all, if they only
had an open mind, what
they were missing and didn't they realize
they could hire Uri to erase all
the hard drives in Russia?  Now
in the corridor outside, Uri held
the silver spoon in one hand 
and rubbed it vigorously with his forefinger.  
The elevator doors opened.  Uri 
handed me the spoon, 
cupping my fingers in his and wrapping
them around it.  
"Very soon now," he said, "you will write 
a screenplay telling the incredible story of my life.  
The film will make you wealthy 
beyond your wildest dreams, and what is more, 
you are invited to be a guest 
in my mansion rent-free for one month of each year, 
non transferable."  The doors closed
behind him.  The spoon, as far as I could tell, refused
to bend.  As I came back into
the office, the receptionist was alone at her desk, 
mascara running down her cheeks.  
I handed her the spoon.  "He wants you to have it," I said.  
"Ohmygod," she said, "he really said that?"  
"Not out loud," I said, "it was a kind of thought 
transference thing, like he was
inside my mind giving me instructions and I had to read 
his lips, kind of."  
She held the spoon with both hands, close to her breast.  
"I know," she said, "I channeled it too, 
but I was afraid 
to believe it was really really true.  I will never
doubt him again."   
The next day she disappeared.  
No one heard from her for about a week.  And then I saw her, 
standing beneath one of the great stone lions 
at the front of the public library.   She was wearing 
a dress of scarves, bent spoons hanging
off her everywhere. ''What happened?" I said.  "We've
been worried."  "Well," she said, "ever since
you gave me the spoon, he's been talking to me nonstop, 
do this, do that, keeping me so busy
I haven't had time to return to work or even sit down 
to a decent meal.  
And everywhere I go, spoons start
bending and falling around 
and vibrating.  I try not to make a spectacle.  I just cram them 
in my purse 
when I can and do my best to sneak away 
without causing a scene." 
"Look," I said, "I don't know how to say this, really, 
but Uri  never told me 
to give you the spoon.  I lied.  But if you've got spoons 
bending and doing tricks for you, 
then perhaps you should report it to the media.  Who knows, 
maybe you could be as famous as Uri."
"Well," she said, "if you promise to keep it under your hat, 
I called the CIA and told them the whole story.
And the reason I haven't contacted FOX or CNN dot com
is that the man at the CIA
said to keep everything strictly hush hush."   "Let me guess," I said, 
"they want you to erase all the hard drives in Russia."  
"Not exactly," she said, "but he told me 
he had been praying for somebody just like me 
to help him 
raid the godless computers of NASDAQ 
and rob them blind, which would earn me a secret medal
from a grateful government, that no one but me
would ever be permitted to see.  And then he wrote down 
my vital statistics, and gave me 
his personal email address, and said
he would need a pic of me for the files, preferably
in the nude, to record any identifying scars 
and the like, and if 
I didn't have a nude already, which most people don't, 
at least not very good ones, he said, 
he would get the "company" to authorize him 
to pay me a visit  and do it
from various angles on one of the secret high resolution 
digital cameras they had developed
to spy on terrorists and people that try to steal 
cellular phones and not pay for the calls."  "Well," I said, 
"I want to wish you the best of luck.  Anything you'd like me 
to say to Charles?"  
She pursed her lips and scrooched one eye shut. 
"Yes," she said, "tell him Urea says hello."

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