Encyclopedia was doing yard work when Lisa Periwinkle raced by his house. She stopped to tell him that she was off to the city dump because Wilford Wiggins had an investment opportunity for everyone. Encyclopedia explained that Wilford doesn’t invite him to those meetings. Lisa acknowledged that that was because Encyclopedia always points out how Wilford was just cheating the children out of their money.
So Lisa was pretty much admitting that she was heading right for a trap, but she was going anyway. I’m going to go ahead and say that Lisa is just stupid.
She encouraged Encyclopedia to come along to keep her and the other kids from being cheated.
If I had been Encyclopedia, I would have said, “No! You want to avoid getting cheated by Wilford, then don’t give him any of your money. It’s that simple, you freakin’ idiot.”
Encyclopedia’s nicer than I am, so he went.
At around sunset, Wilford appeared with a Bill Canfield. Bill was 18-years-old. He wore an overcoat with a bulge in it. No, really. An 18-year-old man stood in front of a crowd of children wearing an overcoat with a bulge in it.
Wilford started his pitch and Bill opened his overcoat and pulled out a rooster. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box with a few button. He hit one of the buttons a few times, and each time he did, the rooster crowed. He then put the rooster back into his coat. Wilford explained that Bill had invented a mind-control ray to make the rooster crow.
The crowd was unimpressed. Why would anyone need a device that makes rooster crow?
No one would, Wilford conceded. But he explained that controlling roosters was easier and that Bill was now working on a ray that worked on hens. The ray would tell the hens to lay more eggs. Farmers everywhere would want them. This could end world hunger. Anyone getting in on the ground floor of this investment would get rich.
Encyclopedia figured out that the rooster wasn’t crowing because of some mind control ray. It was crowing because it thought it was the sunrise. It had been in the darkness of Bill’s overcoat and when it came out, it saw the sunset.
And if I had been there, I would have turned to Lisa and said, “See? I freakin’ told you!”