I was reading magazines today in Borders.
Three men sat down nearby: one wearing a cowboy hat and the other two wearing baseball caps with farm equipment logos. One had his 3 month old daughter with him. I inferred that his wife was shopping and he was on baby duty. In the hour I sat by them, they changed the baby’s diaper, held her, cooed at her and told her how cute she was. Then she slept and they talked.
Me, I just read magazines.
When they got up to walk away, the oldest of the men, probably in his late fifties, pointed to the New Yorker magazine I’d been reading—the one with the “How John McCain Picked Sarah Palin” headline—and asked: “Did that book tell you where they got her?”
Sensing dangerous territory, I did my best imitation of Sarah-herself: “Well, I think they found her in Alaska.”
“But did they say how they found her?” he persisted.
I ventured further: “It said that Republican officials visited Alaska last spring, and she hosted them at the governor’s mansion. That’s how she met them.”
“I don’t know her but she’s pretty famous now,” he responded.
“Yeah, she’s made quite a name for herself.” I said that with a completely straight face.
And then he said with complete certainty: “Doesn’t matter. They're not gonna do it.”
Maybe he was baiting me, but it didn't seem like it.
He seemed more like nobody's fool.
(props to Richard Russo)