frisson and frippery

It's better to


be wrong


than to find out


that you are wrong.









There was once a business owner, a man who was devoted more to the creative side of his work than to the pecuniary details. On his staff he had a full-time accountant whose job included keeping her boss abreast of his company's financial health. Freed of having to worry over such things, he devoted himself to doing what he loved, taking great joy and pride in the flourishing of his company.


The accountant fell in love with her boss. She wanted more than anything to make him happy. As the company sank further into the red, she began to falsify data in her reports to him, representing the company as profitable and financially healthy. Her intent was not to deceive him, but to spare him from pain.


But finally, the company's fortunes sank so low that it was no longer possible to stay afloat. Her heart filled with sadness, made heavier by the knowledge of many years' worth of deception, the accountant prepared a final, entirely truthful financial report for her boss. Her meeting with him was arranged for the following morning; she was awake all night fretting over how he would take the shock.


The next morning, tragedy struck. An oncoming car crossed the center line. Her boss, en route to the meeting, was killed on impact. Having died ignorant of the truth, one might say he died happy.


I am the boss. My self-deception is the secretary. The question is, do I make it to the meeting?