#MNR: A THIEF & A LIAR: CODE SWITCHING 101
“I’m stingy with trust, you only get once to fuck me.”
Assume that this is a hypothetical, fictitious situation.
Picture it: High School (anywhere), 2022. A [senior] student in a small class setting loses the charger to his Mac. He carries on for the next month as if nothing’s wrong, simply borrowing a classmate’s charger for juice when need be. Ignorance is truly bliss because the student (age 18) continues to repeat the process daily. That’s until he’s informed by his teacher that he won’t be able to graduate and receive his diploma if he doesn’t return ALL the school’s property borrowed to him, charger included. He informs his teacher that he doesn’t have his charger because he lost it. His teacher checks with the tech department and informs him that the cost of a lost charger is $80. Understanding that this is damn near a mob vig, the teacher does the student a solid and looks up the price of a replacement on Jeff Bezos’ Amazon. Surprise, surprise – the price for the Mac charger in question is only $16 plus shipping. Problem solved, right? Get the roughly $24 together and get your “above-and-beyond” teacher to order the replacement, OR simply have your mom order the replacement charger from Amazon. Simple enough. But the kid, excuse me, man (by definition only), is super pussy. Why? I’m glad you asked. He’s super pussy because he’s SCARED TO DEATH to ask his mother for the money. Now, it would be understandable if the cost were $240 or $2,400. But it’s a measly $24. Why is he so damn scared? Well, that’s a matter of speculation. Some say he’s scared to ask because he’s scared of how his mother may respond. Some say it’s because he’s scared that his mom will tell either of his big brothers, and they’ll put the beats on him. In either case, just know he’s as nervous as a hooker in church. During his period of trepidation, his teacher compels him to come clean to his mother. His classmates do the same. They tell him that they wouldn’t have a problem asking their mothers for the bread, even if it meant a tongue lashing. A couple of classmates even offer to make the order if the kid gets the money together. No happs. The student REFUSES to talk to his mother about the charger. Something ain’t right.
So, what did the kid do?
In a perfect world, the kid bites the bullet and comes clean. He takes whatever heat that comes his way, but he discloses all to mom and makes sure the charger is replaced. But we all know this world is as imperfect as could be. Instead of coming clean, the kid decided to swipe the charger of a classmate (and alleged friend) to replace his own missing charger. But there’s one problem: the charger he swiped from his classmate worked as often as Ben Simmons does. That’s why the charger sat unmolested on a table in the classroom for weeks. The lame-brained scheme of the feeble boy could have been successful if two classroom teachers hadn’t seen him swipe the charger. Well, that’s not entirely true. A third classroom teacher alerted the other students the day before to be on the lookout for their classmate developing a case of sticky fingers, birthed from utter desperation. In addition, the student didn’t even know where the tech department was located so he had to ask the lead teacher for the location. CAUGHT RED-HANDED. Does the tale end here? Noooooooooo. Instead of throwing in the towel, the kid lied incessantly about his intentions. He claimed he wasn’t trying to steal his classmate’s charger, even though it was more than obvious that he was. Assume that his excuse/reasoning was bogus and therefore meaningless to include in the story. In the process of his novice web of deception, he alienated himself from his classmates AND teachers, who could no longer trust him. After all, he’d proven himself to be a thief AND a liar.
I know what you’re probably thinking. You’ve rationalized his fuckery and you fully condemn it, yet you don’t see it as being egregious to the point that the boy deserves to be class pariah for the remainder of what little is left of his high school career. Well, allow me to add further context. This boy usually plays the role of class angel to his lead teacher, and has done so for a long time, as they have prior history. He’s always “Johnny on the Spot,” always eager to lend a helping hand. In the spirit of fairness, the boy IS a good worker. He always helps his teacher when needed. He helps other students from time to time as well. The teacher with whom he has a special bond has been known to go above-and-beyond for him because the boy has a troubled past and lacks certain things from home. But the teacher has been largely unaware of the boy’s antics when he isn’t in her presence. He code switches. Sure, everyone does to a certain degree. But his code switching is more on par with “The Good Son” than normal code switching. The boy claims gang affiliations that he barely knows anything about outside of the fact that an older brother used to bang. He terrorizes classmates and others on the school bus, often making outlandish claims about what he has, what he does “outside,” what he’ll do to someone if it’s “up,” and how he’s ultra-protected by his brothers (basically implying that he can move with impunity). In classes with other teachers and classmates he’s hyper-aggressive, very similar to the way he is on the bus. He’s a chameleon. Sadly, none of his other faces are virtuous. And, in the case another student pulls his “tough guy” card and steps to him, he’s guaranteed to run to his favorite teacher and seek refuge, knowing the teacher will run to his defense no matter what. Yeah, he’s that kind of person. Super pussy.
So, what do you think? Is he a good human being, a bad human being, or a confused human being? Is he perhaps somewhere in between two of the three?
Keep your thoughts to yourself. After all, it’s just a hypothetical story. But I’m sure you know that these types of individuals exist all over. Just adjust the age and the environment.
Are you a code switcher, chameleon, or a fraud? Everyone is at least one of the three at certain times.
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