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A Time to Speak (Jeremy Cook)
(chuckle, heard it)

A couple has their first child, a little boy. As he grows older, he shows all the signs of normal development but fails to begin speaking. They take him to all sorts of doctors and specialists, who confirm that he apparently understands everything said to him and displays an intelligent perception of his surroundings and circumstances. Yet he never utters a single word, and years of effort fail to correct the problem.

One day, when he is about eighteen years old, the family is seated around the dinner table. The son takes one bite of his casserole and says, "Egads, mother! Are you trying to poison me? This stuff tastes like you scraped it off a compost heap!" The parents are stunned for a moment, and then exclaim, "Son! You can speak! For eighteen years you've never uttered a word, and now you speak!" The son nonchalantly replies, "Well, up until now, everything's been OK."

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