Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Not Nice Man - another tale of the neighborhood

One day, I’m in the liquor store, buying my usual brand of cheap red plonk when I spot a man holding a bouquet of burnt red Astromeria. He clutches them by the narrow end of the paper tube wrapping and holds them slightly away from himself – in the manner of a man who has just been handed his wife’s purse. He’s scanning the shelves impatiently.

It’s been a crappy day and I’ve been fighting the urge to throw myself a blow-out pity party. The sight of him hits some mushy Hallmark nerve and I blurt out, “What a nice man.”


Someone is a lucky woman. The flowers, wine…” He stares at me, expressionless, and moves to the next aisle. After a minute, he mutters something. I move a little closer so I can hear him.

“Pardon me?”

“I said – how do you know I’m not in deep trouble?” He looks into my eyes defiantly.

“You’re right, “ I admit after pondering this for a few seconds,” You bastard!

He beams at me.

“That’s better,” he says.