Snippets of Conversation on and off the Poker Table part eight


As I stand there, I found myself in a moment familiar to being in the middle of a bluff in a Texas Holdem poker game. I can tell, she’s also processing whether or not I said I was from BasketBALLski. Now, she’s not so sure I am funny anymore and coming to grips with the fact that she is not really in on the joke. Unlike poker tournaments online you have to exist in this perpetual game of nonverbal communication. Will she call my bluff?

She looks blankly at me, but still trying to be polite, “We don’t have any basketballs but perhaps there is something specific to what we do have that you’d like, have you seen our jeweled eggs” I mull it over. Or at least gave the façade of mulling it over. To “mull” requires pursing your lips and squinting a bit. At least that’s how I decided to convey my mulling to her. I purse and squint, then scratch my chin. And while I am fake mulling, I am also really mulling over the wonderful opening she just gave me by asking if I’ve seen their jeweled eggs.

The wife is still on the edge of earshot and then I notice she is giving me the deathray look. I’ve never gotten past that look without amending the behavior that caused it, because I feel like if I ever don’t amend that behavior literal lasers will shoot out of her eyes and burn me to dust. I’m not kidding, in the moment, it’s that powerful a glare that under it’s application, I truly believe she has some sort of hidden cyborg deathray attached to her occipital lobe waiting to fire at me. So not wanting to die in that fashion, I decide to wrap it up.

“Well, I see you don’t have any fish for basketball so we’ll just have to keep looking… despite your jeweled eggs.” Yes, pure nonsense.

She nods, taking it in, maybe I am insane and her face shows abject confusion. In the moment, I think YES! Finally the veneer cracks, I’ve won. Utter confusion about the fish for basketball is contorted across her face. Then she goes back into undeterred saleswoman mold, but only for a moment. I watch as her face becomes a literal canvas of confusion, it’s like Bill Bixby as David Banner trying to keep the Hulk out and the mild-mannered good Samaritan in, is she going to turn green, I wonder.

If she does Hulk out, at least my wife has deathray-vision to save me. Then, then good wins out, her Avon training punches back in charge, much like a Navy seal under interrogation, the training is too deep-rooted to let her flail before a customer. As she comports herself, for a brief moment, I can tell she ponders going to engage my wife and to wrap up that sale, I see her eyes flitter to the floorplan as she starts to figure out an alternate route around me and through the glass trinkets. She shifts her weight toward one such route, then I indicate I will follow her by leaning in the same direction.

She sighs, she gives in the training finally broken, and turns toward the front of the store, choosing to leave us alone, without even a good bye, or a merry
Christmas, just a defeated woman walking away.

I wonder how she will retell that story to her friends. Or what she’ll think about at night as she ponders over “Living in the continentals” or if she allows herself to mull, in whatever fashion mulling takes with her, the phrase… “Fish for basketball” and how she’d interpret it. I know as I replay the moments we shared in my mind, we’ll always have her jeweled eggs.

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