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August 3rd, 2017

the discreet charm

On our way into the parking lot shuttle on the way back from DC to Columbus, a woman was muttering to her companion. She had a pretty loud mutter and she was right behind me.


"The thing was solid gold. What kind of idiot...?"


I knew she must be talking about the gold lunar module model that was stolen from the Armstrong Air and Space Museum a couple of days earlier. I was pretty sure I knew how this rhetorical question was going to end but I was wrong.


"What kind of idiot donates a thing like that? Solid gold! I tell you."


I took a seat on the bench with my bag on my lap. She sat next to me and kept quiet while the man who sat beside her—pretty sure it was her husband—told the driver which lane he had parked in. She started a new topic.


"That trip was the right length. Just long enough." I thought I heard a grunt of assent from the man. "Left right before the political talk started. But Debra was getting into it yesterday, she was really starting to wind up!"


"Did you notice I ignored it?" The way he said it made me think that he was sure Debra could have learned a lot had he elected to enlighten her.


"Did you notice I ignored it?" The way she said it made me think she was sure she'd won that ignoring contest. "And I changed the subject." Sounded like she was awarding herself a bonus point.


Silence for a few beats. Then, "I think I've had enough grandchildren for a while."


The husband, whose mutter did not carry as well as hers did, started to describe a relationship involving a sibling, an in-law, someone who lived somewhere and did a thing. I missed a lot, but then my seatmate summed it all up for him: "Basically a low-life. Yes." Another yes-grunt from the man and they were quiet until the shuttle got near their car.


I'm wondering what the other participants in that visit had to say about it.


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koralleen
koralleen

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