How to Be…Fooled

by Lindsay Timmington

When I was in high school I took a trip to San Diego to visit a good friend.  I was excited to see her, happy to see the ocean for the first time and thrilled to collect sea shells by the sea shore.

On our first trip to the beach my friends waded in and out of the water, sunbathed on the beach and chatted.  I however, strolled up and down the shore searching for shells.  An hour or so passed, and I still hadn’t found any.  I continued walking, determined to find shells to take home when suddenly, I struck gold.  There, in front of me lay a bounty of tiny, perfectly shaped, cream colored shells.  I knelt down, scooped them up, swaddled them in a restaurant napkin I’d brought with me to transport my findings and headed back to my friends.

When I got there, I ceremoniously lay them on my beach towel and began inspecting my treasures.  My friend leaned over, and lifted her sunglasses on top of her head to get a better look.  She began laughing and nudged our other friend.  She too began laughing.

I was perplexed.  “What are you laughing about?”

“Those aren’t shells!” the one said snorting.

“Yes, they are!” I said.

“Well, technically…” the other countered, and that set them off again.

“What are you talking about?” I demanded.

“Those aren’t sea shells,” the first repeated, “You collected PISTACHIO shells.”

I looked down at my shells.  I had been excited-nay-proud, to have collected so many beautiful, perfect shells to take home as a souvenir from my trip and now they were telling me I’d been collecting trash.  I flung the discarded nut casings off my blanket.  My friends howled with laughter.   I buried my head in my beach towel while Laurel and Hardy spouted joke after joke about my nut shells. After the beach, they insisted we stop at the grocery store where they bought me my very first bag of whole pistachios in exchange for being able to taunt me about this for the rest of my life.

I never did find any sea-shells that trip, and the only thing I took home was this story.

But I did learn something–

Pistachios are delicious.

Happy April Fools Day.

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