The Unswung Bat

Tuesday, December 09, 2003
 
Hat, Trick

I say Frencha forgot her hat by the window when she left. We found it on the floor. Someone had stepped on it. Dev was disappointed. It was a nice hat. I said if we clean the dirt off it it would look real fine on her. So fine.

She turn around once in front of me like it supposed to be dramatic, ballet, and she say "dammit, Sadman, I don't know how you expect me to wear a used hat!" I try to say it was still used before someone step on it but she don't like and she cross her arms like a lady. I say we take the hat anyway and she tell me fine. "You can wear it," she say.

I'm not really a sad man. I don't know why everybody don't call me Josh, which I am. But she say Sadman, she tell everyone Sadman, and now it looks like Sadman is how everyone gonna call me. I don't mind much, I just wish right now she stop talking about the hat.

She still talking. "I don't know where you get your ideas. I don't know what hole you gotta be born in to think I'll wear a piece a used garbage like that." In my head I tell her all her clothes garbage, but of course that's a bad idea to say in real life. So I just leave it in my head and I stash the hat in my pocket.

I check to see but Frencha's name not written in it. Too bad, I wanted to know. Guess she just gonna be Frencha. Dev get to decide everyone's name.

First thing I want is to do something with this hat, but Dev wants first thing a muffin. I say what about this hat and she say she can't believe I still talking about that. So I gonna say she crazy if she think we can go get a muffin but then I remember I got a toonie in my pocket. I fish it out and show her and we go down to Tim Horton's.

Round the corner on the way to Tim Horton's there a man in a toque with grey hair, sitting on his sleeping bag. He gotta go to the pool take a shower.

"Can you spare any change?" He shout out when we walk by. Dev wanna ignore him but I take the hat out my pocket just to show it.

"Look what we found!" I know Dev wants to turn around, say look what garbage I picked up, I mean, or some like that. She rather pretend she can't hear though, but the man like the hat. His eyes look at it like he sees a watermelon instead, or maybe a chicken. Maybe money. Some look though, and his mouth uncurl and his face get calm and excited.

"Hey I'll give you two bucks for that," he tell me.

Two bucks? Sold! I pick this hat up off the ground not ten minutes ago now it worth two bucks. Won't Dev go crazy when she see it not garbage after all? So the man go into his pocket and gimme two bucks, I hand him over the hat.

I catch up with Dev and she still acting like she know best. "You just found the only person dumber than you," she say, but she glad like me for the two bucks. She remember she got some money in her jacket and we can get a whole meal. Aren't we happy when we walk into Tim Horton's and buy a soup, a sandwich, and two nice hot chocolates.

The boy there come up to the counter take our orders, then he gotta mop the floor and he forget to get our money. I don't even remember we got to pay till we at the door, and he act embarrased when I tell him.

We got the soup in a paper bowl with a lid, and it feel hot until we get outside, then it nice and warm in my hands, better than mittens. I try to hold it close to my chest.

When we walk back past grey hair man he shout at us "Hey gimme some a that." Well, Dev look right at him this time and tell him what he thinkin'. "You can go get some food of your own," she tell him. He stand up when she say that, and he tall. He wear a sweatshirt too small that the sleeves stop a while before his wrists, and he look like a scarecrow made out of strong wood and no hay. I don't wanna fight him. I don't even think I can run away. So I tell him "what you wanna fight with us for? We just wanna get our dinner. You can go get your own for just two bucks."

What he mean buying a hat from me then asking me for dinner? He look at the soup that got steam coming out of the paper bowl, and the sandwich Dev carry, and the two hot chocolates, like he want them. A whole dinner so cheap and he don't got to fight us for it. "How can you get that for two bucks?" he say, so I tell him.

"Don't you know about the special?" I ask, and he don't know. So I walk him back to Tim Horton's to show him. "Here," I say, and he look at me without trust. "Yeah, two bucks," I tell him like he gotta go in, and I wave the soup around like it my point. "It a special order. This week. You can't just order, you gotta go tell the guy you want the today special."

Now Dev unwrap her sandwich real slow and take a bite, and man decides he wants it. He go inside, and the boy still mopping up. Grey hair man go up to him, and get his attention. He probly grumble that he want a special order, and the boy look up.

The boy say something sorry cause he didn't know man wanted to order, then he go behind counter and ask man what he want.

"Can I have the today special?" is what he ask the boy, and the boy say what? "The today special," he say again. Then the boy make an mmm sound.

"Sorry, we don't have anything like that, d'you want something on the menu?" And I guess he look behind him to show man the menu. Now the man angry and want to come out and grab us. Want to take the soup and then kick me, probably, but we been gone since he went inside. Walked away at first and then ran for it as fast as we could.

I got hot soup spill all over my hands and burn them, and Dev lose a whole cup of hot chocolate when she trip, but we stop in a park and I start licking the soup off. Then Dev takes the bowl to put it down and clean off my other hand and we catch our breath laughing then she sit me down to share the feast.



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