Friday, July 19, 2013

I do my best, but I'm made of mistakes

"We should get a record player," the Detective said to his officemates on the third day in a row that his phone didn't ring. Not a telemarketer, not a wrong number, not an old friend who'd seen his ad on the Internet and wanted to find out for themselves if it was true. No calls.
"What do we need a record player for?" asked the Dance Teacher. "I can play anything you want to hear on my computer. Go ahead, pick a song."
"Yeah, but, I've got a computer, too," said the Detective. "That's not the point. I just think, I mean, god, it might be nice, if that's an idea you can understand, it might be nice to have a record player. We could put on records. We could buy some records, some really good ones, to have around the office to put on whenever we felt like it."
"Don't you have a record player at your place?" asked the Outreach Worker. 
"No. Do you have one at yours?"
"I do. Why don't you just get a record player at home? Why have one here?"
"I just thought it would be nice, that's all," said the Detective.
"You want to make this your Man-Cave," said the Dance Teacher, shaking her head. "This is where you come to hide from the world. You want to put in a record player today, tomorrow it's a pinball machine, next week there's a bikini calendar over there on the wall. I'll tell you now, as long as my name's on the lease, that nonsense won't happen here."
The Detective walked over to the white mini-fridge in the corner that the Outreach Worker kept stocked with off-brand cans of soda. Fresh Up, Captain Cola, Dr. Spritz. The Detective chose a Grape Zeal. The Outreach Worker often brought clients back to the office for paperwork or to kill time waiting to hear back from the Ministry. It was only polite to have something cold and sweet to offer them. The Outreach Worker's thriftiness was well-known and occasionally admired. He was no miser. To him, thriftiness was an extension of his generosity, of which the Detective was a constant beneficiary.
"Hey, I've got a Groupon for mussels at the Sandbar," he'd say over the phone. Or "Watermelon was 2-for-1, so I'm bringing one over, okay?"
The Detective made a mental note to pay for the grape soda after business picked up and went back to his desk.

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