This year, the Easter Bunny brought me a basketful of interesting encounters.
The first was to take the form of a boba tea-serving 20-year-old with a microscopic soul patch on his pale chin. Our exchange went something like this:
Me: Do you have soy milk?
Soul Patch: Yep.
Me: Cool. Could I have a green tea with soy milk and boba?
Soul Patch: Sure.
At this point, Soul Patch walked over to the teahouse refrigerator and grabbed a carton of soy milk. Then he came back to the counter.
Soul Patch: Do you know the date today?
Me: Umm, no.
Soul Patch: (reaching for his cell phone) It's not June 7 is it? (flips cell phone open) Oh, no. Oh, June!
He smiles, relieved that the soy milk's expiration date is two months off. After he hands me my drink and takes my change, I drop fifty cents into the empty tip jar.
Soul Patch: (reacting to tip) Yeah! (pumps arm with enthuasiasm--sincere enthusiasm)
Realizing that my lonely tip meant that the other seven people in the joint hadn't bothered with a gratuity, I now understand his appreciation. I walk out wishing I'd put in a dollar.
Returning from a grocery run, I run into a 60-ish man--burly with a small, white gym towel around his neck--walking down my apartment building's driveway. He has evidently just come from an open house showing in one of the empty units. A woman who is apparently his bored wife is waiting in the driveway, her head slouched back against the driver's seat headrest of their station wagon.
Towel man: Do you live here?
Towel man: If I move in here, do we get to date?
Me: (sizing him up--threat factor: low to none) No. That's against the rules.
Towel man: Too bad. There's no point in me moving in now. Can you believe they wouldn't accept cash?
Me: Hmm, that's weird.
Towel man: (pulling what appears to be cash out of his pocket) They wouldn't take an $8 bill! (shows me a fake $8 bill with former President Clinton's visage on it)
Me: (charity laugh) Oh, brother.
Towel man: (thumbs through more bills and shows them to me, one by one) I know. And they wouldn't take this Mrs. Clinton one either. They did say they'd take Reagan, but wouldn't make change.
Me: (eyeing the faux $100,000 Reagan bill in his hand) Wow. Ridiculous.
Towel man: (dabs sweaty face with gym towel) What's your name?
Towel man: My name is Pope Benedict. Are you "Sister Nictate"?
Towel man: Then we're both virgins! (laughs heartily)
Me: (charity laugh)
Towel man: See? We're already having a great first date!
Me: (strained smile) OK, have a nice day.
Towel man: It is a nice day, since I met you. Goodbye!
Towel man walks to his waiting wife. I lug my groceries up the driveway, now laughing for real.