March 9, 2012

Just Another Million Dollar Problem

It’s hard not to eavesdrop. Especially when your native tongue is spoken aloud and you’re usually surrounded by something else. In fact hearing French has become so commonplace to me that when I visit Canada I tend to resort to French whenever someone doesn’t understand what I said. French has become my default language despite speaking it very poorly.

“Two hundred thousand. Just two hundred thousand.

His friend shakes his head.

“But you know what they did? They gave four hundred thousand. Four hundred thousand! Unbelievable! I just can’t get over it.”

“Maybe you should sell.”

“And take a 90% hit?”

“Perhaps you should leave.”

“I can’t. My wife has 2 million, I have 4 million, my father has 6 million, my mother-in-law has 3 million and my brother has 1 million. It’s not a good time.”

At this point my Dr. Spock ears could detect a seismic tremor in the Indian Ocean if they wanted too.  Does he mean 4 million dollars?

I look over to see what he’s eating. They notice. I’m in awe but try to play it cool, shrug my shoulders in a whaddya gonna do kind of way. Like I hear this problem everyday. It’s not so much what I heard but where I heard it that startles me. This is The Chicken Hut. A guy venting his 4 million dollar problems over a 14,99 roasted chicken, albeit tasty, seems so wrong. He should be in a lounge smoking a Montecristo and downing a fifty-year-old bottle of Macallan. My biggest problem? My friend is ten minutes late and I’ve started chewing my nails.

A few minutes pass and the distraught bloke gets up to leave. I furiously look him over for tell signs of wealth. He’s like a mini celebrity. I’ve lived in Switzerland for six years and while rich people abound, I have no idea where they are. Nobody dresses like Puff Daddy. It’s rather disappointing.

Nope. He’s pretty average. I bet he cuts his own hair. For a novel, he’d make a very dull character but for now he can go in my blog.