The Daily Prompt is a series of blog challenges we are prompted to do daily, hence the name. Today’s challenge is to write of a time when I was bamboozled by flimflam, hoaxed by hokum, or just plain hoodwinked by hornswoggle.
I’d like to take you back through the mists of time, back to the long ago, when the Apple Mac was called a ZX Spectrum, when a can of coke cost 15 pence, when tennis players wore headbands and the web was somewhere a spider lived. The year is 1981, the Rubik’s cube was set to be the next big thing, and I was 8 years old.
I had just seen a program on our newfangled colour television set about Stonehenge and I was hugely excited about it. This ancient monument predated history, its purpose was a mystery and its method of construction an enigma.
Suitably bewildered, I decided to ask my Dad about it. Dad was, after all, extremely clever and always knew something about everything. The telly people may be stumped, but surely Dad would have the answers.
“What is it? How did they build it? Why does it look the way it does now?” I asked.
Dad paused a moment, stroking his beard and looking wise and thoughtful. He often looked wise and thoughtful when he stroked his beard.
I held my breath in anticipation.
“Stonehenge, son? Oh, yes, Stonehenge. Well, Stonehenge was just a pile of rocks when the army discovered it in 1939. They were doing manoeuvres out there and found these great big stones, and the Sergeant got the lads to start balancing them on top of each other.”
I was hanging on his every word. “How did they do that.”
“They used a JCB.”
“Ahh.” Made sense to me. “So how come it’s only half done?”
“Well, war broke out. They had to leave it and go off to fight the Germans. After the war they didn’t really feel like finishing it, and they were too busy rebuilding London.”
“Wow, thanks Dad, now I know all about Stonehenge.”
Looking back I guess I was kinda gullible, but my Dad told a lot of tall tales and had a knack for making the ridiculous sound quite plausible. I miss my Dad very much and my memories of him are fondly cherished.