You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I am both a mixture of appearing to be gullible and actually being gullible. That is, while possessing a look that causes some men to apologize after swearing, I also, apparently, have the kind of face that says “See if she’ll make change for a $24 bill.”
Change for a $24? Sure! Now all we have to do is decide if you’d rather have four sixes or two twelves…
Seems I’ve always been gullible. Take, for example, the weekend after my brother and I saw ”Jaws” seven times. Nothing like a relaxing weekend at the lake! Nothing like it until one hears one’s brother screamed insistence to “Swim, Pearl! Swim! Killer Muskie! Killer Muuuuuuuuuuskie!”, causing me to swim like something out of a Keystone Kops reel, complete with rolling eyes and double-takes. Convinced that a seven-foot Muskellunge was preparing to strip the flesh from my lower legs, I swam as if I were being paid to do so.
Kevin laughed until he took on water.
Being gullible is what also led me, at the age of 16, to boast that my boyfriend was a “bikini inspector”.
What could I do? The card he presented clearly said “Licensed Bikini Inspector”.
And for those of you keeping score at home, yes, my swimsuit passed with flying colors.
So when the man in the dirty tee-shirt showed up at the bus stop Tuesday morning, I was skeptical. Sure, he presented all the proper identification you’d expect to see in a North American Wood Tick Inspector, but something about his lurching, hiccupping appearance just prior to the 6:24 bus made me uneasy.
Still. North American Wood Tick Inspector. You gotta respect a working man, am I right?
I hand his credentials back to him. “So you’re just in the neighborhood?”
“Thazz righ’,” he says, his heavily lidded eyes closing for disturbing lengths of time. “I wuz over at – hic! – Mayslack’s lazz nigh’ an’ sure enough diddin I fin’ wood ticks?” He pauses. “You been up to Mayslack’s?”
“Of course,” I say. “This is my neighborhood.”
“So then you know Debbie?”
I play along. “I know Lori,” I say. “Everyone knows Lori.”
“Well there ya go,” he says. “You as’ Lori ‘bou’ me. As’ her ‘bou’ the Wood Tick man. I check her last night an’ pronounce her wood-tick free. Now wha’ ‘bou’ you? Don’ you wanna be pornoun – pronann – declared wood-tick free?”
Man but I love this guy.
“I sure do!” I enthuse. I look down the street and see the bus is turning the corner. I pause in my search for my wallet. I mean, come on, right? Wood tick inspections aren’t free! And even if they are, I’m going to want to tip him. Now what do you suppose one normally tips the Wood Tick Inspector…
The bus pulls up and the doors open. I step up onto my regular bus, where the driver greets me as he does every morning. “Beautiful day!”
I smile at him and turn to watch the North American Wood Tick Inspector weave his way away from the bus stop and down Broadway.
It is a beautiful day.
Pearl is a Minnesota native and her daily blog Pearl, Why You Little… has been featured on Minnpost.com’s “BlogCabin” and the online magazines Praxis and Indie Ink. She is currently rated #17 of the top 100 bloggers in Minnesota by newsbobber, Minnesota’s Blog Directory. She lives in Northeast Minneapolis and is in for several grand to two scam-running and perhaps subversive cats.