Yesterday we reported the apocryphal story that Zombie-eyed Granny Starver Paul Ryan told at CPAC about the kid who didn’t want a free lunch, and that’s why Paul Ryan wants to cut the free lunch program: their stomaches might be empty, but their souls will be full of Ayn Rand goodness.
Well, it turns out that story was lifted and perverted from a book, An Invisible Thread, a story about a homeless kid and his benefactor. Here’s the original story:
“Look, Maurice, I don’t want you out there hungry on the nights I don’t see you, so this is what we can do. I can either give you some money for the week–and you’ll have to be really careful about how you spend it–or when you come over on Monday night we can go to the supermarket and I can buy all the things you like to eat and make you lunch for the week. I’ll leave it with the doormen, and you can pick it up on the way to school.”
Maurice looked at me and asked me a question.
“If you make me lunch,” he said, “will you put it in a brown paper bag?”
I didn’t really understand the question. “Do you want it in a brown paper bag?” I asked. “Or how would you prefer it?”
“Miss Laura,” he said, “I don’t want your money. I want my lunch in a brown paper bag.”
“Okay, sure. But why do you want it in a bag?”
“Because when I see kids come to school with their lunch in a paper bag, that means someone cares about them. Miss Laura, can I please have my lunch in a paper bag?”
Ryan was very careful in telling the story to ensure that he credited it to WI Republican, Eloise Anderson, who told it to him during official testimony before his committee. This now leads us to wonder where she got the story. Take it away, NY Magazine:
Third update: Anderson’s spokesperson tells Kessler she “misspoke” — “Secretary Anderson was referring to a television interview which she had seen with Maurice Mazyck.” So, by mistake she somehow believed the interview she saw on television was a conversation that happened with her personally, and that the boy’s request for a paper bag lunch was actually a request not to get a school lunch.
Uh-huh. That’s as believable as one of St. Ronnie’s world war two stories that always turned out to be the plot of some old movie.
UPDATE 1: The WaPo Fact Checker gives the story, and Ryan’s retelling of it 4 Pinocchios.
(Hat tip: NYMag and Wonkette via Scissorhead Big Bad Bald Bastard in the comments.)