The Gist Of It
“I don’t understand a word of what you just said.”
“Um, OK…but you get the gist of it, right?”
“No–why would I get the gist of it if I said I didn’t understand a word you just said? Do you even know what “gist” means?”
“Yeah. It’s…the stuff that gets, you know…ground up…in a mill?”
“What? What are–wait, are you thinking of “grist”?”
“Oh…yeah, yeah I am. My bad. So, what were we talking about?”
“Most recently, if you know what “gist” means.”
“Oh, right. It’s like a con, right? Like, some gister poses as a realtor and “sells” the same house to, like, four different people, but it turns out someone already owns the house and the gister just somehow got their hands on a set of keys to the house, maybe because they had already previously gisted the homeowner somehow.”
“I think, if I’m not mistaken, you’re thinking of “grift” and “grifter”.”
“So, want to try again with “gist”?”
“Yeah–oh, I know what it is! It’s that cornmeal-type stuff people eat in the South!”
“What are you–that’s “grits”! How could you not know that–you just had grits for breakfast! You said the word when you ordered them!”
“Huh…I guess I did. All right, dude, ya got me. I don’t know what “gist” means–ya called my bluff. Let’s get outta here.”
Jack smiled as he and Vic slid out of the diner’s booth and Vic left the tip.
Once again, Jack had pulled the old “we’ll-agree-that-you-pay-for-breakfast-and-I’ll-leave-the-tip-but-then-after-the-bill-is-paid-I’ll-say-you’re-leaving-the-tip-and-when-you-question-it-I’ll-say-something-nonsensical-then-play-dumb-to-completely-change-the-subject-to-the-point-where-you-end-up-leaving-the-tip-also-without-even-thinking-about-it” trick. It worked every time.
Jack was proud of himself. He was quite the gister.