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Monday, January 3, 2011

I Can Never Pass Up a Good Deal or: There's a Sucker Born Every Minute

So I'm walking through the beautiful Loyola campus one day last summer with my sunglasses on and "Hate and War" by the Clash blasting through my iPod earphones into my ears, when I notice a guy with an overstuffed backpack on his back, riding on a bicycle along side of me ever so slowly looking at me with his lips moving. I took the earphones out, and the following conversation ensued between me and the guy...

M: Ha ha, did you think I was somebody else?
G: Did I think you were somebody else? No, I didn't think you were somebody else. I was wondering if you wanted to take a look at some books I have.
M: Oh, um, no. I don't have much time, I'm on my lunch hour and I have to be back at work in 10 minutes.
G: It won't take long. It will take 2 minutes. Do you have 2 minutes?
M: 2 minutes? Well, OK. 2 minutes. What kind of books are they? Text books?
G: I have many different kinds of books.
The guy laid his bike down on the grass and proceeded to pull out book after book until his backpack was entirely empty and he had about 20 books lying across the grass on display, none of any interest to me.
G: I have something for everyone here.
I looked over the books. There was a soiled Mickey Mouse book, a ten year old copy of an old Western Civilization textbook, and several other gems.
M: Oh, I guess I don't really need any books.
G: These are great books! My garage is full of them and I have to get rid of them because I need more space. I hate to part with them. Hey, I'm an honest guy. I sell "read"; not "weed". Ha ha. I'll give you a really good deal. What kind of books do you like?
M: Oh, I don't know. I don't have much time for reading. Maybe I'll take one for my daughter.
G: What does she like?
M: She likes true stories.
G: Here's a good one... he picked up a tattered paperback called "Death Dealers" by Yves Lavigne that had an elastic band around it to prevent all the loose pages from falling out... it was written by a Montrealer. It's a true story about drug smugglers.
M: Oh, OK. Well, maybe I'll take that one. I figured it would be cheap, considering its condition...
G: You might as well get one for yourself, too.
M: Ya, I guess so. I picked up an old hard covered book and looked at the cover: "Between You and Me" by Harry Lauder. I opened the book and read the first line: "It's a bonny world, I'm tellin' ye." "Sold!" I said to the guy. "How much do you want for these 2 books?"
G: Oh, I don't know... five dollars?
I handed him a five dollar bill, groaning inside. I returned to work where my co-workers asked why I was carrying around 2 cigarette smoke infested old books. "Leave me alone, " I told them. The stranger was seen some weeks later pawning DVDs on campus, and I just saw him again today, riding his bicycle through the campus in Arctic weather conditions, his bulging backpack in tow.


ms hautbois said...


Older daughter admirer said...

I still have that classic book! Best deal you've ever made!

Harry Flashman said...

What's a mere five bucks when you can be two books richer?

annie said...

lol, I remember this hilarious story! thanks for re-sharing it!