Writer's Workshop: You Know You Live in a Small Town When…

It was a busy Friday afternoon at a popular downtown cafe. Brian and I were enjoying a leisurely, baby-free lunch, eavesdropping on the people around us (as we like to do), when the grad student-type person sitting next to us got up and walked away.

BRIAN: Amber, check this out.

ME: Oh, don’t worry. I already saw the sorority sluts. And no, I am not going to get a pair of stiletto whore boots like those.

BRIAN:  They are pretty hot, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Look at the table next to us.

ME: What? What am I supposed to be looking at?

BRIAN: Open your eyes, woman. Don’t you see the computer? And the iPhone?

ME: Yeah, so?

BRIAN: So that guy just got up and left that stuff there.

ME: Well, maybe he really had to pee or something. He has been drinking a lot of coffee.

BRIAN: Yeah, but that’s an iPhone. Anyone could steal it!

ME: Shhhh. He’s coming back.

We quickly looked away, trying to pretend we hadn’t been staring at his stuff.

ME (LOUDER): Yeah, so I thought maybe we could go see that movie this afternoon.

BRIAN: Movie??? But I thought you wanted to furniture shop…

ME: I dunno. We should keep our options open…wait, is he leaving again?

He was. And this time, he left more stuff out on the table.

BRIAN: Want to go rob his house? He left his keys for us this time.

ME: Who needs a key? He probably left the door open for us.

BRIAN: Right. Although if this is the way he treats his stuff, there’s probably not much left to steal, anyway.

ME: No kidding. I mean, I know this is a small town and all, but it’s not like we live in Mr. Roger’s neighborhood or something. People take shit.

BRIAN: Shhhhh.

Brian started picking at his dessert while I fumbled for something in my purse, sure our neighbor must know we had been talking about him.

BRIAN: This cupcake is nasty.

ME: So don’t eat it.

BRIAN: I paid five bucks for this thing. I’m damn well going to…

This time, we both openly stared as Mr. Dumbass got up, put on his beret and stepped outside, leaving his stuff where it was.

BRIAN: Okay, maybe this is like one of those Dateline things.

ME: What, like To Catch a Predator?

BRIAN: Yeah. Except instead of child molesters, they’re trying to get petty thieves.

ME: Could be. I’m guessing he’s just a little too trusting, though. Either that, or he’s a major pothead, and has fried all the brain cells that should be reminding him to pick up his stuff.

BRIAN: Well, are you ready to get out of here? I can’t stand to watch this anymore.

ME: I kind of feel like we should stay and guard his stuff…

BRIAN: Oh, come on. Don’t be such a girl scout. We’ve only got four hours till we have to pick up the kidoodle.

ME: Okay, fine. You’re right. I hope no one takes anything, though.

BRIAN: Well, he has only himself to blame if they do.

So we left. But I’m still wondering if we were being filmed for a Public Access TV version of Dateline… I’ll keep you posted. Now head over to Mama Kat’s to see what the other Workshoppers did this week.

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