A silly talk about sins…
“I’d say there are not seven but eighteen sins”, said P. He was having his usual over the fence discussion with his neighbour and the evening’s topic happened to be philosophical.
“I have heard about the seven cardinal sins, wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony”, said the neighbour. But what are those eighteen sins you are talking about?”
“You know, breaking the ten commandments….., that would add another ten to the list, won’t it? By the way, I forgive you for breaking the ninth commandment…. You know the one about ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’ I am talking about the complaint you lodged with the city council when I tried to fertilise my garden.”
“Let me correct you. There was absolutely nothing false about my complaint and it was not ordinary fertiliser that you were spreading in the garden but stinking fish meal”. The neighbour said irritatedly and P noticed the flush of anger on his face.
“You are now about to commit the first cardinal sin…., wrath”, P said hastily. “Let me say that it is all water under the bridge and I bear no grudge”, P added in a conciliatory tone.
P’s neighbour did not seem to be easily appeased and continued “I would also say that you are culpable of breaking the last commandment ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’
“That is the biggest joke I have ever heard,” said P. “Agreed you have a house with a bit of a garden. You don’t have a wife and I have not seen any male servant, female servant, ox or donkey sauntering around in the compound. I have only seen your cat!”
“I know you don’t covet my cat and I believe the sentiments are reciprocated. Have you paid attention to the last few words ‘Or anything that is your neighbour’s’?” persisted the neighbour.
P mulled over the point raised and understood what his neighbour was getting at.
He smiled and replied “I know you are referring to your car. You see, the seven cardinal sins added with the ten of breaking the commandments would only make seventeen sins. There needs to be another sin added to the original seven if the tally has to reach my suggestion of eighteen sins. That eighth sin I’d say is selfishness such as when you would not let me borrow your Porsche!”