A shy little boy came up to me at the desk where I work and whispered something so softly that I couldn’t make out a single word. I bent over to put my ear near his mouth and said, “Could you say that again, a little louder please?” And he whispered a request that was a few puffs of air and some sounds that might have been consonants.
With my head bent over to listen, I could see two tiny cowboy boots peeking out from under his jeans. They had pointy toes and contrasting stitching, and they looked real snazzy, so I took a shot in the dark: “I like your boots. Do you like books about cowboys?”
“Heavens yes!” said his grandmother who was sitting on a couch nearby. “Cowboys and tractors.”
“Well let’s take a look,” I said. “I bet we can find some cowboy books.”
So my colleague and I went to lookin’ and we rustled up some good stories, and the little boy took them to the couch with his grandmother while mama and the baby were busy.
Soon it was the end of my shift. I started to gather my things and was almost finished when a little boy appeared at my side.
“Tractor,” he said. Not loud. But loud enough.
“Sure, I think we can find some tractor books.”
“Did he ask you that himself?” said the grandmother.
“Yes he did.”
So my colleague and I went to lookin’ and we pulled some tractor books off the shelves, and for a few minutes, in a small corner of the world, life was just about perfect.
After a considerable time looking around a local boutique, my daughter and I picked out a really wonderful, handcrafted kaleidoscope as a wedding present for our soon-to-be married California friends. They both like art objects, live in a tiny apartment, and have absolutely no need for house stuff. This seemed like the perfect gift—beautiful, fun, and able to travel well in my husband’s carry-on luggage.
Just one problem: as I finished wrapping it in silver-and-white wedding paper, I realized that airport security would x-ray it and likely think that the cylindrical steel casing was a pipe bomb. They would at least be puzzled and want to see the object in question. So much for my wrapping job! But then I realized that the colored bits were suspended in liquid gel. No way to get it on the airplane. It was going to have to be unwrapped, in checked baggage, and it still might cause trouble…
so I shipped it out to the West Coast overnight. Probably went on a plane. What a world.
It was a red pickup truck–a guy and a girl in the cab and another guy sitting in the bed. Not an unusual sight around here—especially out in the county where I was driving–but the guy in the back was looking down and concentrating on something. My inner librarian looked over hopefully, “Could he be reading?” Not exactly. Turns out he was working on his laptop.
Driving in to work the other day, I found myself traveling behind a 15 ft. fiberglass cow. It was a red and white Turkey Hill cow with its very own tub of ice cream—tho’ the ice cream was a bit difficult to see from my vantage point. Now, this is not an everyday occurrence for me, but thinking back, I can’t decide what was more curious: a cow in the historic district, the reactions of the people as it passed, or me driving down the road, holding up my cell phone to get a picture.
There’s a resale shop in town that sells “gently-used name brand fashions” like Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister and American Eagle. The shop’s name is Plato’s Closet-which struck me as an odd name for a used clothing store. The closet part I could understand, but who was Plato? The owner? The owner’s dog? I mean, I’d heard of THE Plato-but what did he have to do with clothing? I pondered, but to no avail.
It was only when we actually bought something there that all became clear. Our purchase was placed in a plastic bag that said “Plato’s Closet. I wear. Therefore, I am.” “Eureka!” I shouted. (Well, not really.) It is THE Plato! But instead of being Plato’s Cave (where captives see shadows of the real world flickering on the wall in the firelight) it had become Plato’s Closet where teens can buy upscale items in their second life; shadows of the real world of prep fashion. The clue that tipped me off, of course, was “I wear. Therefore, I am.” –even if that’s a morphication of Descartes and has nothing to do with Plato–unless of course, I want to prove that I’m as real as my clothes used to be, or something like that.
All in all, pretty clever in a weird, kinda twisted way. And though it may never get a second thought from 90 percent of the teens shopping there, it still made me laugh.