Adventures in — (Well, On the Way to) — Marketing: Week 122

A woman flagged me down on my way to the café.
It had been a long time between hitchhikers. But if she was willing to take a chance on my backwards-facing baseball cap and faux letterman’s jacket and enter the Mustang, I was willing to take a chance on her many-colored cardigan and red leather boots.
Where are we going? I said.
Safeway? she said.
It turned out her sciatica had flared up on her way to buy the paper.
In the four- or five-block ride, it also turned out she was 72. She had been a teacher or a substitute teacher or a part-time substitute teacher for 20- — or was it 30- — years, but now she lived on $800/month. She had married a man, who had lied to her, and then she married another man, who had lied to her too. She had three children, who did nothing for her, and she had a son with adult-onset schizophrenia whom she took care of. This son’s behavior was causing her neighbors to try to force her from her home. I do not recall the specifics of the neighbors’ efforts, but if she had been a farmer in a western and they had been cattlemen, they would have poisoned her well and slaughtered her chickens and burnt down her barn.
But her neighbors were not cattlemen. They were members of the synagogue.
At this, I shifted my profile – and nose – from view.
The other day, she said, even though I could not afford it, I decided to do something special for myself. I bought a bouquet of flowers to put beside my son’s bed, so when he woke up, he would have something beautiful to look at. But when I came back into his room, someone had broken into my house and stolen all the best ones.
At this, I checked the accessibility of The Club, with which I lock the Mustnag’s steering wheel, in case she went for my throat, and I had to beat her to death.
Why are all people so evil, she said.
All people aren’t evil, I said.
Louise, she said when we reached the front door of the Safeway.
Bob, I said.