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Mel Hathorn

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Member Since: Apr, 2002

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· The Prisoner's Dilemma

· Celts and Kings

· The Castlereagh Connection

Short Stories
· Thanksgiving Day Dinner at Oliver Wight Tavern in Old Sturbridge Village

· Spanking Plato: Prologue - Chapter 3

· Sticking it to the Man

· Women in White: Parts 1-6

· Men In Black

· A Study and Discussion Guide to The Prisoner's Dilemma

· The Corporation Who Mistook Itself for a Person

· The Gymnast

· No Broccoli Tonight!!!

· The Prisoner's Dilemma (Authors note)

· Stages in the development of Social Change

· But Who's Going To Clean The Toilets?

· George Will's Unanswered Questions

· The People's Fund

· Letter to World Leaders

· An Open Letter to Connecticut Transit

· Constitutional Amendment to end Corporate Personhood

· Is Reaganomics Dead?

· A Reasonable Teaching Philosophy?

· No Taxation Without Representation

· Georgie Porgie

· The Battle Hymn of the Republic Updated" contributed

· Lament for Lost Liberties

         More poetry...
· A New Business!

· Spanking Plato

· Nobel Prize Nomination

· The First Crack in the Wall

· Are the predictions I made in The Prisoner’s Dilemma happening?

· Get The Prisoner's Dilemma free!

· Dust Cover Copy for The Prisoner's Dilemma

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Yes Virginia, There is a Free Lunch
By Mel Hathorn
Posted: Sunday, August 05, 2007
Last edited: Tuesday, December 15, 2009
This short story was "not rated" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Mel Hathorn
· Spanking Plato: Prologue - Chapter 3
· Thanksgiving Day Dinner at Oliver Wight Tavern in Old Sturbridge Village
· Sticking it to the Man
· Hartford PGA Tour: Going to the Dogs?
· Women in White: Parts 1-6
· The Corporation Who Mistook Itself for a Person
· Men In Black
           >> View all 27
Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, asking about Santa Claus and the quick response entitled, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps. Below is an updated question sent recently to Mel Hathorn.

Yes Virginia, There Is A Free Lunch


Mel Hathorn

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Free Lunch. Papa says, 'If you see it written by Mel Hathorn it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Free Lunch?”


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Free Lunch. It exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Free Lunch. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, and no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Let me tell you of my experience with the Free Lunch. Recently a new supermarket, Stew Leonards opened nearby. When I went to check it out, I was delighted to see that there were many portable stands offering free samples. I first checked out the soup stand. I enjoyed an appetizer of lobster bisque from a choice of New England clam chowder, and chili.

That was followed up by free homemade bread dipped in homemade garlic olive oil. The main course consisted of lasagna and beef marinated in teriyaki sauce. This was followed by dessert of cheesecake and ice cream all washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice.

This was such a delightful surprise that I returned for the next eight days. On the eighth day someone tapped me on my shoulder. It was the store manager. “You have been in our store for eight days and have bought nothing, but you have eaten our food!!” he yelled. He called over a couple of no-necks who dragged me on tiptoes to the door. He wagged his finger at me like Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. “No Food!!” he yelled. “No food for you!”

He then showed me a paper recently faxed to him and other area supermarkets. It was a picture of me at the Stop and Shop supermarket moving Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream from a bottom shelf to an eye-level shelf. **

Not believe in Free Lunch! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the supermarkets year around to check on a Free Lunch, but even if they did not see a Free Lunch, what would that prove? Nobody sees the Free Lunch, but that is no sign that there is no Free Lunch. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory of the free lunch beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Free Lunch! Thank God! It lives, and it lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, it will continue to make glad the heart of childhood and hungry adults.

**For the story of the Ben and Jerry’s incident go to: and read the story, Shop n Drop below.


Reader Reviews for "Yes Virginia, There is a Free Lunch"

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Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 8/5/2007
well written and informative

Books by
Mel Hathorn

The Prisoner's Dilemma

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Celts and Kings

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The Castlereagh Connection

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