When my kids were little, we had books in which you could choose your own ending. I enjoyed them as much as they did. You, dear reader, now have the opportunity to end the following story however you wish from the options below.
This IS true: I was walking along, minding my business when a young stranger opened a door for me. Moved by his kindness, I politely thanked him. As he walked along slightly behind me, he asked: ‘Do you play volleyball?’
I use a walker. That was a strange question: ‘I did in high school.’ (True.)
‘Where did you get your jacket?’ (What did that have to do with anything?)
’In L.A. in about 1980.’ (True too, yet I’d never given thought to what my jacket said. Never!)
‘Goodness, how old ARE you?’
I answered truthfully, adding: ‘If I’d known how long I’d live, I’d have taken better care of my body while I was young.’
‘That’s interesting, no one ever told me that before. Uh, would you sell me your jacket? I’ll buy it right now.’
‘It’s very old…’
‘I don’t care — I play pro volleyball and will pay you for it.’
All of this is true.
NOW YOU END THE STORY:
Choice #1: He pulled out a wad of bills. How could I resist? I said yes, accepted his offer and as I removed my purple jacket, told him I was chilly, so I’d better run. Off I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me away, a stack of bills tightly grasped in my fist. I didn’t tell him I’d shortened the sleeves and there was no way he could wear the old jacket being as tall as he was.
Choice #2: ‘It isn’t worth anything,’ I told him. ‘If I had another jacket to wear in this weather, I’d just give it to you. Because of the pandemic, I’m not shopping now so I’d better hold on to it.’
I gave him a phone number, suggested he call me later, and promised I’d surely give it to him.
He was so pleased, he invited me out to lunch right there and then. What did I have to lose. Even if he was a serial killer, what could he do to me in a restaurant on 4th Avenue? What followed was an interesting chat about volleyball over a good meal at Jam’s.
Choice #3: He asked if I’d take off the jacket so he could look at it more closely for a moment. I’m a good kid. I took it off and handed it to him. He ran off with it as fast as his long legs could carry him away. Can you believe??? Drat! Not nice at all! That nasty guy stole my old jacket! HE STOLE IT!!!!!
Well, how would YOU end this story?
Special thank you to my grandson Andrew Mead who took these photos of me in my old purple jacket.