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Janis Jaquith
janis@radioessays.com
426 words

BROTHER, COULD YOU SPARE A DIME?

I'm sitting at a table at Greenberry's, nursing a cup of coffee, a cup of coffee that cost me a dollar and thirty cents, as I wait for my son to have his hair cut next door.

When I paid for the coffee, I only had a dollar fourteen and had to borrow sixteen cents from my son.

I open up the house copy of the Washington Post, and on the second page there's this ad for Burberry trench coats.

These coats cost a small fortune, as everyone knows, but they are made well, and they're sturdy...plus all that other stuff that people say in order to justify an outrageous price.

I'd be delighted to own one.

In the ad, a lovely young woman is striding through some kind of pasture. I look closer at the ad and see that the lovely young woman in the seven-hundred-and-ninety-five dollar coat is holding something. It blends in very well with her coat and it's hard to make it out.

There's a face -- it's a dog! A dog wearing a trench coat. A teeny-tiny doggie trench coat.

And the doggie trench coat costs two-hundred and forty-bucks.

You should see the look on this dog's face. It is mortified. It's not a poodle -- poodles can handle that sort of thing, they're used to having mentally-unbalanced owners who put ribbons on their ear hair (how would they like that?) and clip them to make their hips look all poofy and fluffy.

No, this is a regular old dog. I kind of hope that right after this picture was taken, the dog jumped down and rolled around in cow poop. Do you suppose a Burberry raincoat is impervious to cow poop?

My son still isn't back from getting his hair cut, and my coffee's all gone. I hope the barber isn't putting little bows in his hair and making him all poofy.

I'm feeling like a bum, hogging a table when I've finished my coffee. I check my wallet again, hoping that I've overlooked some folding money that may have slid down out of sight. But there's nothing.

I pick up the paper again and decide that I would like to meet the person who would pony up two-hundred-and-forty bucks for a trench coat for his dog.

In fact, I'd like to meet him right now. Maybe he'd buy me a cup of coffee.


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