All he had meant was 'I have a knife, don't run'. But he had wanted to avoid such bluntness, he wasn't proud that his life had taken this turn, 'so why not have some class about it?' He'd reasoned.
'I'm betting not, and if you can't do something with grace and poise then I say don't do it!' He continued, still failing to project even a hint of the menace that he had hoped.
'So just don't!' He added, as an intended tag to his practically absent threat. Realistically adding only to confusion, which is the opposite of bluntness, so I guess Jasper had achieved part of his goal.
'How did you know?' Replied Herb, with wet eyes, and an enlightened smile.
Herb had held a secret for much of his adult life you see, he'd dreamed of dancing ballet, he'd thought of it daily, yet never pursued it out of fear, but now here was a sign. It was time to do it, to let his inner desires burst into beautiful dance.
Herb ran from Jasper, not with grace, but with the lightness of joy, aspiration, and a life fresh with meaning.
Six weeks later a room full of admissions staff laughed in his face. For it seemed 86 was too old to audition for the New York Conservatory of dance.
Had Jasper just said 'give us your money' it would have saved Herb $3220 in travel fees and $97.30 in tights.