Yesterday, I went on yet another treasure hunt, this time to match a fabric swatch for one of my Aunties. I went to two Wal-Marts, a large JoAnne's Fabrics and Hancock's. I was unable to find the cloth, but found yet another mildly idiotish person to interact with. This was the salesclerk! When I asked her about the fabric, she told me that it was probably a parcel of Filthy Gypsies who bought it all.
I knew the circus was not in town, but my mind was boggling under the sudden onslaught of imagery concerning gypsies (do you know any?) salesclerks who openly loathe and revile them (what's the likelihood of THAT coming out within 3 seconds of speaking with someone?) AND the very queer notion that I did not know that gypsies bought fabric.
"What in the world do they do with it all?" I asked.
The salesclerk paused for effect. Honest! She paused for effect and in an ominous and disgusted tone she uttered, "They SELL it!"
I tried to think of the various venues around town in which a passel of feelthy gypsies could set up their caravans, dance in the night to wild strains of music, and during the day set themselves up as cloth merchants. Maybe Oregon, but Sacramento, not so much.
This lady then launched into a confidential history of her childhood on a German farm in Minnesota, and how these gypsies came to their gate one day and claimed to be starving. They were begging, and hungry, and her father ordered she and her brother to go butcher two chickens, two rabbits, as well as gather up some carrots, potatoes, some bread from the pantry, and whatever else was on hand, in abundance. Because her father was a good man. And then she told how later that same day, her father came tearing into the house for his shotgun, because he was going to go shoot the entire lot of them! Of course the good Frau of the house did not allow him to do any such thing, but what could have made him turn so angry? Apparently, the starving beggars had set up a little booth in the curve of the road, and were selling all the goods they had begged for throughout the neighborhood. Selling the stuff back to the very people who GAVE it to them that morning.
Pretty Cheeky! And here, 65 odd years later (the clerk told me she was 71) that memory is alive and well and festering in the heart of the lady behind the fabric counter at your local store!
These things amaze me. Human beings amaze me. What they remember, what they forget, whom they despise, and why.
**No real gypsies were encountered or harmed during the retelling of this story.**
***No slight, slander or libel is intended towards gypsies past or present, salesclerks past or present, or German Immigrants in the midwest, past or present by the author in retelling this story.***