Friday, October 1, 2010

Bitter? Not me.

Flower, once upon a time when I was aworking the register at the bookstore a little boy came up to the register and put a copy of Frog and Toad Are Friends on the counter. As far as I could tell he was by himself. He looked like he was about 7. He pushed the book across the counter to me and then carefully and with much gravitas set down a small cardboard game piece like the one pictured above. It had a picture of a very cute ham on it. He looked at the ham and looked at me--which I didn't take personally--and slowly guided the card across the counter to me. I took the card, put it in the register, put the book in a bag and gave it to him. Then he walked out of the store. We never saw each other again.

I don't think that a week has gone by that I haven't thought about that exchange. I'm planning on one day telling  my former boss/bookstore owner, D about that experience. In my head it goes like this. D is lying battered and beaten just like Masala after the chariot race in Ben Hur.  I come in strong and victorious like Ben Hur ready to forgive him his past transgressions. D/Masala says "There's still enough of a man here for you to hate, Juda". I say (and here is where the movie and I part ways) "Oh really? Well then let me tell you about the time I exchanged a $3.95 book for a worthless piece of paper with a picture of a ham on it". Being a Jew in a hot climate, Ben Hur would have had a card with a picture of unleavened bread or maybe a fig on it not a ham so you can see how this is different from the movie. "And I even kept the picture. You got nothing!!!" Then D/Masala lets out a got-me-in-the-gut groan, the classic death rattle and dies. It's just something I play in my head on long drives or every 12th waking moment.


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