We have called you here today, Alison, for a reason.
And what might that reason be?
Don’t get that look on your face. This is for your own good.
Nothing that begins with “this is for your own good” is ever any good. Also, there are so many of you and only one of me.
But we are tiny mechanical creatures and you are 5’10”.
5’10.25″, thanks. And could you tell me if the comma should actually go inside the quotation mark there? It just looks so wrong when I do it that way.
No, we cannot tell you, as we are tiny mechanical ungrammatical creatures skilled only in leaping, flipping, scuttling rapidly, dancing in a robot-like manner and spinning about in circles while lying on our backs.
So can I go now?
No. We’ve asked you here today to explain yourself in the matter of the pound cake you served at a gathering in this very room approximately one month ago.
What about it?
So you remember the gathering?
Do you remember bringing the pound cake to the dining room when it was time for dessert?
Do you recall telling your brother, who is, we believe, 6’6.5″ tall, in response to his delighted exclamation of “Wow! That looks just like our mother’s pound cake!” the following: “It is our mother’s pound cake! I followed her recipe exactly!”
And do you feel that was a truthful statement?
(TINY BLUE MECHANICAL ROBOT ABRUPTLY BEGINS A ROBOTIC DANCE. TINY MECHANICAL MONKEY ABRUPTLY BEGINS LEAPING BACKWARD WHILE STILL CLUTCHING BANANA. BOTH ARE QUICKLY SILENCED BY THE TINY MECHANICAL BUMBLEBEE.)
We ask you now to take a look at the pound cake recipe, carefully written out on a recipe card in your mother’s distinctive backward-slanting lefty’s handwriting and stored in the small wooden recipe box next to the Jim Beam in the cupboard above your stove. Is this the recipe that you followed “exactly”?
So you changed nothing about the recipe, then?
(SILENCE, FOLLOWED BY AN ABRUPT CONCATENATION OF ALL TINY MECHANICAL CREATURES, WHIRRING, HISSING, LEAPING, FLIPPING AND SPINNING.)
Okay! Geeze! Maybe I changed it a tiny bit.
Yet you still feel justified in referring to it as your mother’s exact pound cake recipe?
Yep. It’s called “tweaking.” Ever heard of it?
You guys are too uptight.
Are you actually accusing me of lying to my own brother?
You know what I don’t like? I don’t like your beady little eyes all staring at me.
You know what else? I’m going to leave the room now. That’s because I can. Unlike you, who are not people with legs but who are, instead, tiny mechanical creatures perched precariously on a window shelf where an errant cat could knock you to smithereens with a single swipe of the paw.
(VAGUE WHIRRINGS AND CLICKS OF DISPLEASURE, MIXED WITH AN UNDENIABLE HINT OF FEAR.)
Hey, I know – maybe I’ll go make a pound cake.