Monday, January 31, 2005

Bookstore Date

Often on Monday evenings Ruth and I go down to the local Barnes and Nobles Bookstore. We'll browse the latest, grab a coffee and crumb cake and sit and read for an hour.

I was having an usually hard time finding something that looked interesting. Ruth had already found a book, had her coffee and cake, and was sitting at one of the round tables.

I browsed the New Arrivals and New Paperbacks but nothing there. Then I went to the bargain isles. It was then I stumbled across the book: Driving Mr. Albert by Michael Paterniti. The front cover reads: "A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain." Now this is a book that will go with coffee and cake.

When I got to the table Ruth says: "The coffee is great but this cookie is like a rock." She wasn't kidding. Judging by the feel of it, concrete was the ingredient. It looked horrible. I stabbed it with the fork but it didn't budge, I may have bent the fork. No way I'm going to break my teeth on this.

I took the plate with the brick back to the cashier. I told the girl that this is ridiculously hard. She shrugged. "Can I get a crumb cake instead?" I figured that a desert with the word crumb in it should be softer. "Yeah, I guess." was the enthusiastic reply.

Her boss overheard, stepped to the counter and grabbed the plate. The cookie slid and he flung it into the trash bin. It landed with a loud thud. I heard him say: "Why didn't they throw this crap out? This is old stuff!" Meanwhile she's keying in a charge for a piece of crumb cake I wanted in exchange. He says: "Hey, don't ring anything up, he shouldn't have to pay."

She shrugged again. She was just going through the motions. She didn't much care.

But I was happy. I had Ruth, coffee, cake, and Einstein's Brain.

Millions of people aren't working, but thank goodness they have jobs.