Ex Poser by Paul Jennings
There are two rich kids in our form. Sandra Morris and Ben Fox. They are both snobs.
They think they are too good for the rest of us. Their parents have big cars and big
houses. Both of them are quiet. They keep to themselves. I guess they don't want to mix with the ruffians like me.
Ben Fox always wears expensive gym shoes and the latest fashions. He thinks he is
good-looking with his blue eyes and blond hair. He is a real poser.
Sandra Morris is the same. And she knows it. Blue eyes and blonde hair too. Skin like
silk. Why do some kids get the best of everything?
Me, I landed pimples. I've used everything I can on them. But still they bud and grow
and burst. Just when you don't want them to. It's not fair.
Anyway, today I have the chance to even things up. Boffin is bringing along his latest
invention – a lie detector. Sandra Morris is the victim. She agreed to try it out because
everyone knows that she would never tell a lie. What she doesn't know is that Boffin and I are going to ask her some very embarrassing questions.
Boffin is a brain. His inventions always work. He is smarter than the teachers.
Everyone knows that. And now he has brought along his latest effort. A lie detector.
He tapes two wires to Sandra's arm. 'It doesn't hurt,' 20 he says. 'But it is deadly accurate.'
He switches on the machine and a little needle swings into the middle of the dial. 'Here's a trial question,' he says. 'Are you a girl?'
'You have to say yes or no,' he says.
'Yes,' replies Sandra. The needle swings over to TRUTH. Maybe this thing really
works. Boffin gives a big grin.
“This time tell a lie." says Boffin. 'Are you a girl?' he asks again.
Sandra smiles with that lovely smile of hers. 'No,' she says. A little laugh goes up but
then all the kids in the room gasp. The needle points to LIE. This lie detector is a terrific
'OK,' says Boffin. 'You only have seven questions, David. The batteries will go flat after
another seven questions.' He sits down behind his machine and twiddles the knobs.
This is going to be fun. I am going to find out a little bit about Sandra Morris and Ben
Fox. It's going to be very interesting. Very interesting indeed.
I ask my first question. 'Have you ever kissed Ben Fox?'
Sandra goes red. Ben Fox goes red. I have got them this time. I am sure they have
something going between them. I will expose them.
'No,' says Sandra. Everyone cranes their neck to see what the lie detector says. The
needle points to TRUTH.
40 This is not what I expected. And I only have six questions left. I can't let her off the
hook. I am going to expose them both.
'Have you ever held his hand?'
Again she says, 'No.' And the needle says TRUTH. I am starting to feel guilty. Why am I doing this?
I try another tack. 'Are you in love?' I ask.
A red flush starts to crawl up her neck. I am feeling really mean now. Fox is blushing like a sunset.
‘Yes,' she says. The needle points to TRUTH
I shouldn't have let the kids talk me into doing this. I decide to put Sandra and Ben out
of their agony. I won't actually name him. I'll spare her that. 'Is he in this room?' I say.
She looks at the red Ben Fox. 'Yes,' she says. The needle points to TRUTH.
'Has he got blue eyes?' I ask.
'No,' she says.
'Brown?" I say.
"No,' she says again.
I don't know what to say next. I look at each kid in the class very carefully. Ben Fox
has blue eyes. I was sure that she loved him.
This thing doesn't work," I say to Boffin. 'I can't see one kid who doesn't have either
blue eyes or brown eyes.
‘We can,' says Boffin. They are all looking at me.
I can feel my face turning red now. I wish I could sink through the floor but I get on with
my last question. 'Is he an idiot?' I ask.
Sandra is very embarrassed. 'Yes,' she says in a voice that is softer than a whisper.
'And he has green eyes.'