My daughter called this evening. It was a momentous occasion. The first words out of her mouth were, "Would you like to know what your grandson did?" It all came flooding back to me, THE CURSE (Just wait until you have kids of your own.), and all the times I had called my mother. The beginnings of those butterflies in my stomach that signal an onslaught of hysterics was creeping up on me. Oh gaud this was great, she's calling to tell on him. While well on my way already to uncontrollable giggles my reverie was interrupted by, "Are you even listening to me?"
"Of course," I managed to wheeze, "What did he do?"
"Well," she huffed, "He figured out that when the factories print out and box up all those collectors cards they just ship them out in order or something, and that's why some of the cards are so rare and sought after. But only in a given area. Another area will have plenty of the one that is scarce here."
"And this is a problem why?"
At this point I was trying really hard, truly I was, to not laugh out loud, but the indignation in her voice was simply too familiar. I had used it on my mother. With the same result. I could almost hear my mother saying, "Oh, hold on for a moment, would you?" then she'd blow her nose for five minutes, wipe the tears from her eyes, and try to get through tales of her grand children's adventures without rolling in the aisles before I hung up.
"Um, yuh, why?"
"Well, I'll tell you why. He found a card on E-Bay some kid on the West Coast was selling that he needed, so he bid on it and won. There was a bunch of auctions for the same card out there. So he bought a bunch. Meanwhile he put a bunch of the cards that are common here, on my account."
"Oh gosh," I was barely breathing now, waiting for the punch line. "Did ya sell any?"
"Very funny. I had no idea this was going on until this afternoon when he got home from school."
"The kid hands me eighteen dollars, says he owes it to me for using my account and to pay the charge card with it.
Then he hands me nine dollars and says half should be enough to cover letting him use my account."
"I can't stand the suspense, what'd he end up with?"
"Forty-eight dollars after postage and handling."
The "Kid" is ten......
I was howling. I had those abdominal cramps from laughing so hard they hurt. I was flat out on the couch. By the time I was able to squeak out between insane giggling, "Could you hold on, I need to blow my nose?" there was no one there. Its still bubbling up inside me. Evidently the kid takes after his uncle who must have been born with an Hermes' briefcase in his hand the way he can squeeze a dime out of a nickle.
I"m not quite figuring out why my daughter was in such a snit over this. I'm thinkin' hey, put the stock pages in front of the kid at breakfast for six months, start talkin' futures and pork bellies with him and I'll give him my E-TRADE password..............