'The Case of the Sitting Duck." No, this is not the title of a Nancy Drew mystery. I was thinking about some of the crazy things I have experienced in my life at The Store over the years.
One such wacky episode happened a year or so ago. It was a rather cold day, and I was trying to warm myself by the heater when two gentlemen walked in. I spoke to them and moved out of the way, so they, too, could sidle up to the heat. After a few minutes of mindless banter, I noticed one of the men was not looking at me or making any response. Without looking at anything else, he walked over to where I have my books displayed, carefully selected one and then sat down in one of my chairs. I thought nothing of that. Twenty or so very long minutes passed, and I was tiring of the mindless banter coming from the talking head, with nothing but silence from the reader in the chair. "Well," I said, "it seems your friend likes the book very much. Perhaps you should buy it for him to read at home." The loquacious visitor lamented that his "cousin" was deaf and took great pleasure in reading
"Well," I replied, "what about the public library?" His answer was they were visiting from California and just passing through Bluffton. They saw my store and decided to stop. Thinking quickly, I told him I was closing for an hour or so, I was sorry but they would have to leave.
Looking at me as though I had mortally wounded him, he walked over to the silent one and asked him if he wanted the book, to which the man replied, "Yes."
"Your 'cousin' can read lips pretty well without even looking at you," I said.
They paid for the book with nary a peep and left in a huff.
I was exhausted and flabbergasted after they left.
You'll see what has been missed in those glossy spreads. "Real life" and the good old Bluffton state of mind!
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.