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9.19.2011

A SPIN AT WHEEL OF FORTUNE

I stopped at Goodwill today not really looking for one thing in particular as that is sometimes hard to do in that store.  It's more like the Wheel of Fortune wheel there.  You might find something and you might not.  You really have to go in with no expectations whatsoever.  I quickly riffled through the racks that I had some sort of interest in - sweaters as winter was fast approaching.  In particular, a long sleeved button up white sweater.  There it was.  Miracle really.  I snatched it up, inspecting it carefully to be sure there were no rips or stains and that all the buttons were there.  It was in great shape.  With my one item, I stood in line behind a big man somewhere around the age of 25-30.  To be honest, he didn't smell good at all.  I needed some fresh air!   I glanced at what he held in his hand; a tie and a dress shirt.  It appeared that possibly he had a job interview or maybe a date.  I smiled at him and he smiled back.  The line moved forward and this man who had body odor so bad it took your breath away, laid his two items on the counter.  He wore a pair of shorts and a hooded pull over sweatshirt that seemed to hold the stench of his body which was quite ripe and pugnant.  He had a pleasant demeanor though despite his odor and I began to wonder about his life, what he needed a tie and dress shirt for, whether he would wash himself or that shirt before he wore it.  Both of his items were on sale.  The total together came to $5 and some odd change.  He paid in cash and as he handed the cashier the money he turned to me and asked, "Do you know how to tie a tie?"  I replied "Yes", knowing that would mean I would have to get much closer to him, to that smell.   He, without hesitation, handed me the tie and got down on his knees to make it easier for me to reach his neck as he was over 6' tall.  The cashier smiled knowingly at me.  He asked me how I knew how to tie a tie, explaining that he had tried and tried but just had never gotten the hang of it.  I told him my dad wore a tie to work when I was growing up, and that I had been married to someone who wore ties.  I tried to adjust the length of the tie to hit where I thought his belt would be, even though with his big hooded sweatshirt on I couldn't see his belt line.  After tying it and checking the length, I retied it again, making it a bit longer.  His neck was so sweaty that the tie would not slide back and forth as I tried to adjust it.  I had to physically use my fingers underneath the tie to move it to the right location on his neck - to straighten it.  Satisfied that I had gotten the tie as close to the right length as I could, I loosened it enough that he could pull it over his head.  I told him how to re tighten and straighten it when he was ready to wear it again.  Getting up off his knees he smiled and reached both his arms around me without touching me, hugging the air around me in an excited way as he thanked me for the twentieth time.   I asked him if he had a job interview or a date:)  "Both," he said as he went on, "I am hoping the shirt and tie will make a great impression at work."  As I left the store with my Goodwill white sweater, I wished him well in his new shirt and tie. I had come in for a spin at Wheel of Fortune in Goodwill - looking for that article of clothing, that bargain.  I left with not only the sweater but the bonus prize - an interaction with a man and his tie enroute to better things in his life.

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