Did you scratch the car?.
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Did you scratch the car?

Somewhere in America this week the following conversation is taking place:

Dad - Son, come in here, we need to talk.
Son - What's up, Dad?

D- There's a scratch down the side of the car. Did you do it?

S- I don't believe, if I understand the definition of scratch the car, that
I can say, truthfully, and that I scratched the car.

D- Well, it wasn't there yesterday, and you drove the car last night, and no
one else has driven it since. How can you explain the scratch?

S- Well, as I've said before, I have no recollection of scratching the car.
While it is true that I did take the car out last night, I did not scratch it.

D- But your sister, Monica, has told me she saw you back the car against the
mailbox at the end of the driveway, heard a loud scraping sound, saw you get out
to examine the car, and then drive away. So again I'll ask you, yes or no, did
you scratch the car?

S- Oh, you mean you think you have evidence to prove I scratched it. Well, you
see, I understood you to mean did I scratch the car. I stand by my earlier
statement, that I did not scratch the car.

D- Are you trying to tell me you didn't drive the car into the mailbox?

S- Well, you see sir, I was trying to drive the car into the street. I
mishandled the steering of the car, and it resulted in direct contact with the
mailbox, though that was clearly not my intent.

D- So you are then saying that you did hit the mailbox?

S- No sir, that's not my statement. I'll refer you back to my original
statement that I did not scratch the car.

D- But the car did hit the mailbox, and the car did get scratched as a result
of this contact?

S- Well, yes, I suppose you could look at it that way.

D- So you lied to me when you said you did not scratch the car?

S- No. No, that's not correct. Your question was Did I scratch the car?.
From a strict legal definition, as I understood the meaning of that sentence, I
did not scratch the car... the mailbox did... I was merely present when the
scratching occurred. So my answer of No when you asked Did I scratch the car
was legally correct, although I did not volunteer information.

D- Son, you are such a slick talker you're either gonna wind up as a lawyer or
President....
[Tag]:Did you scratch the car?
[Time]:5/8/2010
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