Shortly after finishing my last post about the sad characters who torture me from time to time, I encountered yet another one who deserves to be included as an addendum. Or sad-dendum, as the case may be.
I was on my way to work the other day, listening to some retro music on my iPod, when a disheveled and malodorous gentleman appeared in front of me, out of nowhere. He was carrying a giant box of candy that appeared to be a generic version of the Welch’s chewy fruit thingies pictured here. I am familiar with said thingies because my dear friend Kelly has been known to eat them for breakfast, on account of their being fruit and all.
“Buy some candy! Support [insert name of charity I’d never heard of]!”
I kept walking without responding, but am not sure whether it was because he startled me, because I didn’t fully hear him, or because I found his alleged charity – whose name included the words children, shelter, hospital, clinic, cancer, homeless, Katrina, asbestos, September 11th, AIDS, Basque separatists, Darfur, puppy mills, dolphins, fur, veterans, diamond mining, gay rights, reproductive rights, seatbelt laws, child labor laws, bottle-fed children, migrant workers, little people, exploited reality TV stars, Paris Jackson, and of course, recombinant bovine somatatrophin – highly suspicious.
I thought and hoped the man would see that I wasn’t interested in his wares and move on to the next passerby. But no.
He shouted the following after me: “Miss! MISS! COME ON! They just fruit treats. They not gonna hurt you!”
Frick on a tax-deductible stick. Why did he have to say “fruit TREATS?” Of all possible words – why THAT one?
The question I really should have been asking myself was why the word “treats” made struck me as so sad, but I was too caught up in the epic drama of the moment to be introspective. I was also too caught up in the epic drama of the moment to actually purchase a bag of the harmless fruit treats. Instead, I continued on my way and sent 10 emails describing this interaction. I was comforted to know that many of my friends found the word “treats” touching as well. But still … it is I who must bear the burden of this man alone.