Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Hag in a Fairytale


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P. S. This picture has nothing to do with today's post.  I just have a thing for ninjas.

    I took the Scribe (my oldest daughter) to the mall to sell books and hand out flyers.
    There's something magical about being the Scribe.  I remember that whenever I hang out with my kid.  
    Every time someone walked by at the mall, she'd run over and hand them a flyer about my book.  She had no idea I'd pay her real money (vs. the Monopoly kind I gave her in kindergarten).  All she knew was that we sat next to The Popcorn Hut, and if she helped, she'd get to try the white chocolate popcorn.
    So, things went well, until some people were mean.
    "What's wrong with them?" the Scribe asked when two people said they didn't know what we were selling, but they WERE NOT interested.  Realization suddenly lit her eyes.  "Wait, I know what's happening. We're seeing into people's souls, knowing if they're nice or not.  Wow, salesmen must know everything about how people really are inside." 
   We were like the ugly hags in fairy tales--the ones who sit in the forest and wait to see if the peasants will be nice to them.  It was epic--I've never wanted to be ugly quite so much!  
    "You're right," I said.
    "Yeah."  She bit her lip, then continued, "We know everything . . . because we're salesmen!" 
   I nodded, suddenly feeling terrible for being rude to a vacuum salesman last week--seriously, what if he was an angel in disguise?
   I pulled myself from my thoughts as a new person walked closer.  "Hey, look at twelve o'clock."  The Scribe, that spy in training, looked right where I told her to.  "This person's going to be nice."  
    "You wanna make a bet?  He's a swerver if I've ever seen one!"
    "A swerver?" I asked.
    "Yeah, one of those people who don't even say anything; they just swerve out of the way instead of saying 'no thanks' or shaking their head nicely."
    I snorted.  "He is not a swerver.  He's a nodder, at the least."
    "Seriously, how much will you bet on it?" the Scribe asked.
    "Well," I dug through my pockets quickly, "how about a penny."  I set some change out and we shook on it.
    The man sauntered closer.  He looked at shops.  His plaid jacket reminded me of black licorice and mints all mixed up.  Then, that scoundrel of a man--who once had a twinkle in his eyes--acted mean to the Scribe!  He didn't talk. . . . He didn't nod.  He puckered right up as if he'd lost his dentures!
    "See." The Scribe giggled.  "Now, that is a swerver if I've ever seen one."
   "But how did you know?" I asked, thinking she's half-spy, half-physic--the best combination EVER.
    "Well, he did seem a bit cranky.  I knew he might swerve since he didn't have a cane."
    "'Cause people with canes can't swerve?"
    "Exactly.  So, they have to nod; it's obvious when you think about it."
    The day went quickly after that.  We met more nodders, swervers and "angels" as the Scribe called them.  We even met a cougher; the woman saw us and conveniently had an asthmatic fit right there in front of a posh manikin.
    It was a wonderful day, and the best part for me was when the Scribe and I got popcorn.  At one point, I giggled so hard, a kernel almost flew into my lung.
    "I learned something today," the Scribe said, pocketing all of the change she'd won from me, plus what she'd earned for helping.  "I learned that it's always good to be nice.  You never know what other people are going through.  And . . . if someone hands you a flyer, you should wait until they can't see you if you'd like to throw it away."
    I smiled through a mouthful of white chocolate.  "You know what I learned?"  I asked and she shook her head.  "I learned that you are a very hard worker AND a good judge of character.  I don't think I should bet against you anymore, though.  You're taking all of my money."
    "But why, Mom?  I like it when we make bets!"