Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table part seven


She resists and for a moment I think, I pressed too far, she knows I’m messing with her. Maybe she remembers Mr. Mister once belted out Broken Wings. Though I’m also gleefully imagining the visual for a third party as she’s still holding a hand out for a handshake and I’m looking like Tonto saying “How.” After some delicious awkwardness, I smile and pull at her hand again to give me a high five. The moment was as sweet as flopping a Royal Flush on bwin poker.

She relents, though I know she’s trying to understand the “Mr. Mister” introduction.

She even throws back to it… “Oh, so where then are you from?” as though there is some place I can say where it’d make sense for people to have the last name Mister. Or maybe, and far more probable, she’s decided to humor my “eclectic” personality as some sale-training handbook has instructed her. The game is still afoot, I just found a miracle card to stay alive in during a session of Sit and go poker tournaments.

“Originally… Lithuania.” Lithuania? What do I know about Lithuania? In a flash my brain comes up with a mental picture of former Portland Trailblazer Arydis Sabonis in a tie-dyed jersey, “To be precise I’m from, BasketBALLski right on the Baltic there…” with the pronunciation on the wrong syllables it comes out like an authentic Russian-y place… “but since a rather abbreviated childhood I’ve been living in the continentals.” I was quite satisfied with the second half of that statement. What exactly is an abbreviated childhood? And what are the continentals? Nonsense of the best sort because it sounds somewhat plausible.

She somehow manages complete composure but is looking for an out, “Oh really. Is your wife looking for anything particular or for a particular person?” She looks over me, in my wife’s direction, and almost tries to step through the physical barricade I’m projecting across the aisle.

“What is my wife here?” I look the other way toward the front of the store, like a priest hearing a knock on the door while sharing the wine with an altar boy. Then I roll my eyes toward my mate feigning relief, “I know someone she’s not looking for, or at least I hope she’s not looking for.” I smile.

She smiles, painfully, in reply.

“Sorry, what was the…?”

“Is your…” another painful smile, “your friend… looking for anything particular or for a particular person?”

“No, I think everybody and everything is accounted for.”
She forces a laugh, and is still admirably undaunted, “No, for Christmas, are you looking for anyone?”

“…are we looking for anyone THIS Christmas?” I feign complete imbecility with more deadpan delivery. “Is that the custom here to look for people on Christmas?” She displays another micro-wince. I give nothing.

I see my wife in the audio periphery of our conversation, get into my eye line, she’s rolling her eyes and giving me that look that I know will mean a tongue lashing of the wrong sort in the car.

My victim, Claudia, is actually finding a tiny bit of humor in this as she tried to reconcile whether I was for real or not, despite her overwhelming and obvious desire to press me to buy dry goods from her, she is patient enough to continue, with more clarity she says “Is there any one in particular you are shopping for today.” She then smiles as though she’s in on the joke. Can’t have that.

I resist the urge to say “Who are you selling” and instead go with “Well, we are looking for a basketball Christmas,” I say deciding to stay on a theme.

She thinks she just heard me say “we are looking for basketball Christmas.” We are in a store of knickknacks and trinkets that women like to line their shelves with and there is not anything even remotely anything close to having something to do with basketball or basketball Christmas—whatever that is.

Now, granted if this was a store for a specific group of women, lesbians, with knickknacks designed for them, surely there would be at least one WNBA snow-globe there, but as this was more for straight women that was not the case. I do not believe she went through that line of thinking.

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