I know it is technically Tenor Tuesday, and that you may be expecting some sort of music-related post from me today, but this thing happened yesterday and it was just too good not to share with you. You see, I was out sitting in the courtyard of our co-op chatting with our neighbor Mecca (whom you may remember from my amusement park post), when two things happened simultaneously. The first was that I walked across the grass to the laundry room to switch my clothes from the washer to the dryer. The second was the arrival of the bread guy.
The bread guy, who is often a bread gal (but not yesterday), is a guy who rides his bike around town selling bread off of a cart attached to the bicycle. As I live in a co-op, we are all a bunch of weird hippies who think the most perfect way to buy bread would be to have someone bake it and then ride it past our house on a bicycle. We are a popular and lucrative stop for the bread guy.
When I got back from the laundry room, I saw my four-year-old son walking away from the bread cart holding a large baguette in his hand and grinning from ear to ear. “Edward, you can’t just take bread, please!” I called out.
“Daddy, I BOUGHT it!” he pleaded. In his other hand was his robot bank that holds his pennies, now empty. I looked over at the bread guy with questioning eyes. The bread guy kind of gave me a shrug, and then there was no time for any other explanations, as the bread trade suddenly boomed. Ruby, determined that her brother was not going to be the only bread-winner in the family, ran inside to get her wallet. One by one, all of the neighbor kids that were outside either grabbed their cash or asked their parents for some, and then there it was. Every kid in the courtyard was gnawing on a long, crusty baguette at $4 a pop.
It struck me as unlikely that Edward had had $4 in his robot bank, which I knew for a fact contained somewhere between 15 and 60 cents, depending on how much of it he had spilled all over his room, but then, without warning or explanation, the bread guy was gone. But I was able to piece together the story, after the fact, from neighbors who had been out there while I was doing laundry. It happened something like this:
The bread guy appeared, hawking his loafy wares, prompting Edward to dash inside to get his bank. Breadguy made a couple of circles on his bike and, before he could get away, my son accosted him with the pennies.
“One bread please!” my son declared cheerfully.
“Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t have enough money there,” replied Breadguy.
“Yes, I do, look!” said Edward insistently.
“Ohhhhhhh, yeah, but bread costs four,” said Breadguy.
“I have four…” Edward said sadly. And I guess this went on, back and forth, until finally Breadguy gave in, took the change, and let Edward take a baguette, which was when I returned from the laundry room.
I don’t know if Breadguy made up for what he lost on Edward in other bread sales, but maybe this was just a brilliant marketing ploy to convince all children that the thing to buy with their allowance money is french bread. Or, more likely, he was just another victim of Smooth Edward: Bread Negotiator.