Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turn of the Screw

   I was surprised to see Mr. Nesbaum at the mailbox. He's a sales associate in the hardware department at Home Depot, so I rarely see him during the day.
   "Got the day off, eh, Mr. Nesbaum?"
   He smiled slyly. "I don't work at Home Depot anymore."
   I slipped my query letter into the slot. "Really? Why not?"
   "I don't need to work anymore. Can I get in there?"
   "Oh, I'm sorry." I stepped aside so he could get to his mailbox. "Did you retire?"
   He pulled out his mail and started sorting through the letters. "Sort of. I've got a new career."
   "No kidding? Doing what?"
   "I'm an author and lecturer."
   That got my attention. "Author and lecturer? I didn't know you were a writer."
   "Well, I'm not sure I'd classify myself as a 'writer' ... but I have a book out."
   "If you have a book out, I think that qualifies you as a writer ... what's it about?"
   "About the proper use of hand tools."
   Well, that made sense. "What's the title?"
   "The Truth about the Left-Handed Screw Driver." He stopped sorting and held up a letter. "Here's what I was looking for."
   "What's that?"
   "A check from the Southpaw Mechanics Association."
   "For what?"
   "I was the keynote speaker at their annual convention."
   "No kidding?"
   "Nope. Say, how're your books doing?"
   "Oh, fair to middling ... I just got a royalty check for twenty-two dollars."
   "Well, good for you." He started to leave, stopped and held up the check. "We ought to have you and the Misses over for dinner."
   "Sure." I watched him walk away.


  1. Alex: I talk all the time ... but no one will pay me for it ... or listen.