two truths and a lie

Truth or Lie: At the tender age of eight, Courtney was forced to into debtor’s prison.


This may require a bit of explanation. When I was young, my family used to go camping while on vacation. While we were camping, someone had the genius to decide that bottlecaps were currency—I believe this started as a method of getting us to clean up. So we would collect bottlecaps competitively. But what good is a currency if you couldn’t buy anything? Soon, we decided that bottlecaps could be used to purchase real estate—fine tracts of undeveloped campsite that you could call your own (and you could exclude your sisters from it! Unless they were horse thieves, but this is not the story of how I was framed and hanged for horse theft.)

In any event, our nascent economy didn’t take long to discover that spending all week collecting bottlecaps, only to buy a property with a scant few hours left for enjoyment, was no fun at all. So naturally, my older brother invented the mortgage: one could purchase property, in exchange for bottlecap payments.

You can see where this is going. My sister and I purchased vast tracts of riverfront property and gleefully excluded everyone. Until the first payments were due, whereupon we promptly defaulted. My older brother (who played the bank—he always played the bank) repossessed the land, and since apparently it was not a non-recourse mortgage, forced us into debtor’s prison: one solitary rock, in the middle of our campsite, that we had to split between us.

Oh, the agony.

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