Accountability #1LinerWeds @StoryADayMay

Today’s Story A Day May piece was inspired by a crack our #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, made over the phone last night, by my own struggles with numbers, and by my always-loving and scrupulously honest accountant late mother.


I never thought I was any good at arithmetic. Numbers just didn’t act right for me, the way they did for other people.

It was like I knew what I wanted the answer to be, and could “show my work” to get there, but sometimes the answer was wrong.

Like, D- wrong.

Then we got to mathematics, to Algebra, and I got to use letters along with the numbers, and I could do it right. My math grades went up. All of a sudden, my mother loved me.

Algebra I – A
Plane Geometry – A
Algebra II – A
Solid Geometry – A

Oh, but pre-Calculus…. I squeaked through pre-Calc with a C+, but that wasn’t good enough. Not for Mr. Beauregard, the head of the Math Department, and not for my mom.

“You’re just not ready for Calculus,” Old Man Beauregard said. “Just not ready, mmm? I won’t take anybody into my Calc class with less than a solid B. It’s a recipe for failure, and it would drag down the momentum of the entire class, mmm?”

“Pre-Calc doesn’t make any sense,” I protested. “Math like that doesn’t make any sense! Imaginary numbers? What kind of craziness is that? Imaginary numbers?

Just imagine I got the right answer!

How’s that for imaginary numbers?”

And then I got it. It was a trick. It was a trick, just like the one that gave me grief in arithmetic, only now I could see how to use it to get the answer the book wanted.

Kids always ask the teacher, “Why do I gotta know this junk? When am I ever gonna use this in real life?”

I’m telling you: A competent accountant can always find a decent job. But an accountant who can take imaginary numbers and produce the answer you want him to produce — That guy can make money.


Also: I’m binge-watching Breaking Bad, yo.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s weekly blog hop, One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner or just like them, follow the link.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: A child feels they have to earn a parent’s love.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Accountability #1LinerWeds @StoryADayMay

  1. Dan Antion

    May 13, 2020 at 8:05am

    I saw a few of those accountants during my consulting days. Quite the imagination.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 13, 2020 at 9:47am

      It’s known as “creative accounting,” I believe. As my mother used to say, “Figgers don’t lie, but liars can figger.”

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author
      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        May 14, 2020 at 11:25am

        A creative lawyer, like Saul, perverts the rule of law for his own purposes. I can only watch so much of that (husband has watched Breaking Bad twice), because they ALWAYS ignore the victims.

        Permalink  ⋅ Reply
        • Author

          Marian Allen

          May 14, 2020 at 1:43pm

          I know! None of them feel the least bit bad about helping people turn themselves into mottled lunatics. It’s like they’re thinking, “People with addictions deserve anything bad that happens to them, unless they happen to be personal friends of mine.”

          Permalink  ⋅ Reply
          • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

            May 14, 2020 at 4:55pm

            Addicts may or may not have a lot to do with their addictions, but we also don’t see the enormous cost to society to rescue one, and the many repetitions it can take for a single person.

            Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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