Then, just across the street, another Benefit card with the same family name. Deciding I ought do something, I followed the directions on the back of the card: If this card is found please drop in any mailbox. Only slightly altering my route, a U.S. postal mailbox was nearby. With little effort, I had been a bit of a good citizen.
The very next day, in the same area, I saw another card. Not a Benefit card, but a $50 gift for the Good Luck Restaurant! Although the card was probably used up, I kept it.
The next day in the same area, I met a man observing the Jewish Sabbath walking to a nearby synagogue. In case he knew the people, I told him about the Benefit cards. He didn’t, but said the mailbox was a good call.
The man added that he had earlier seen a card — not a Benefit card — but hadn’t looked closely. I showed him the Good Luck gift card. Yes, that was it!
The man thought I had earned some good karma with my earlier good deed, mentioning he invariably picks up stray cards, but for some reason this time didn’t. My Good Luck.
At that point, needing to know if the card still had value, I went to the restaurant. The full $50 balance remained.
I was saving the card for a special occasion. Recently our cultural critic, Shadi, (who also dabbles in the education field) was on the job market. Given her passion, credentials and impressive accomplishments, Shadi quickly received offers from schools in San Francisco, New York and Denver. She also interviewed in Rochester.
While, of course, we hoped she would stay, we wished her the best. And we had a contingency plan. In San Francisco, Shadi would report back as the Talker Treat. In Denver, she would be our Smile High correspondent. In New York, Shadi would open Talker‘s downstate bureau.
She came to Good Luck to announce: SF, NYC, Denver or Talker. In California, she could make the pilgrimage — as had Hunter S. Thompson — to Big Sur where Henry Miller wrote novels that made sex into a four letter word. In Manhattan, she could amble into the White Horse Tavern where Dylan Thomas drank himself to death on wine and words. In Colorado, she could visit Neal Cassady’s grave, the Beat poet who grew up in Denver’s skid row Larimer Avenue.
Like LeBron James, time for The Decision. Shadi is taking her talents to . . . Talker !!!!!!!!!!!!
While Shadi is never one for office gossip, at the restaurant I did ask if there might be a young lad in Rochester also happy about her decision. She would neither confirm nor deny. I said it was best not.As Shadi has had to give up a planned seminar at the American University of Paris’ Summer Writing Institute, instead this summer she will be worked to the bone covering her stories. I reminded her the Talker life is a monastic one. And all staff members have taken a strict vow of celibacy.
POSTSCRIPT: The other day at the University of Rochester, I found a Bruegger’s Bagels Gift Card. Alas, with a 3 cent balance, I could only buy a very, very small bagel.
ALSO ON AND BY SHADI