Monday, April 24, 2017
“Oh, I do love to see a man in a collared shirt!” I said that to The GoBot as the brood of youngsters and their grandma was still approaching me at the choo-choo train kiosk at the Arrowhead Mall.
He was five years old, short but proud. And the shirt was just a striped, knit polo – but still. “It used to be a man had to work at things, but today that collar makes you one of the ten best-dressed men at the mall.”
That’s so, alas, but so is everything else – alas. Here’s better news, instead: There are super-heroes down at the mall – sturdy oaks who might look too much like slender saplings to you, for now.
By then they had arrayed themselves neatly in front of the kiosk, stately Granny and four sweet super-heroes – all led by The GoBot, of course, who was not the biggest but who was easily the busiest.
The little dude had swagger, from his big grin to his squirm-swathed short-cropped hair. He was front and center at the kiosk, ready to make the deal for everyone – everything but the money, that is.
I nodded to him – rank has its privileges – before saying to Granny, “So, who’s riding?”
Sales monsters will note that I opened with a brutal closing question. That’s the luxury I have when the Brand Specifiers – kids like The GoBot and his mannerly siblings – come to me pre-sold. The Decision Maker – that would be Granny – is the money, which is why I put the question to her. But they would not have come so close if the money were not mine to lose.
Granny already had her cash out, anyway. To the kids she said, “You’re riding the train by yourselves. Those little cars are no good for my bones.”
I smiled at that. “I promise years of memories, but I can guarantee three days.” As I said that I leaned forward and pushed at the imagined pain in my back and Granny chuckled.
Shooting a glance to (more…)