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I remember the first time I used the blank stare. I was about four or five years old and mom was very busy cleaning the house. She had just mopped the kitchen floor and was upstairs gathering laundry. I had asked more than my fair share of silly questions that day and mom had already warned me about this. As I was thinking about where Moon Pies come from, I suddenly became thirsty for a glass of milk. I didn’t want to bother dear mother so I made the decision to get the milk myself. As I opened the refrigerator I spotted that nearly full gallon of milk on the very top shelf. Not to be outdone by circumstance I climbed up a few shelves until I could grab the handle of the milk jug. Then it happened – kaplunk! The milk, eggs, butter and other things came crashing down with a sound that would revive last night’s leftover spinach soufflé. As I looked down on the main ingredients to bake a cake, spread all over mom’s formerly clean kitchen floor, Mom came running in and asked me what happened. I looked at the cat, I looked at mom. I looked at the cat on the other side of the kitchen and I decided right there that a blank stare would serve to preserve my posterior health. I didn’t want to tell a lie, but I certainly didn’t want to tell the truth.

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