Sometimes people stare at me. And not in a manner meant to flatter.
Today, for instance. The Pony wanted to pick up a Little Caesar's Pizza, because Hick bowls on Thursdays, and I don't cook. I called it in on the way home, after picking up The Pony from academic team practice. Our pizza was still in the oven when we arrived. I paid. The Pony asked for two quarters from the change. He wanted to play a game that's like pinball, but with little rubber superballs. You win at least one superball every time. If you're good, you can win several. His selling point was: "A winner every time!"
I took his bottle of soda and stood at a counter by the window. The Pony finished his first game. "Here." He proffered the two superballs, a yellow and a black swirly design. "I can't put them in my pocket right now. I'm playing again." I held them in my left hand. The keys and the rest of the change were in my right hand. The counter girl announced that our pizza was ready. The Pony was in the midst of winning more superballs, so I went to pick up our order.
Crazy Bread and two garlic butters were balanced on top of the pizza box. With my hands full of superballs, keys, and change, I grasped at the pizza box like some circus lobster-claw lady. I got my clenched hands on opposite corners, and balanced the ungainly provisions with a forearm and my body. Good thing I had left the soda on the counter.
The Pony finished his game and pocketed two superballs, the same colors as the two I held. He grabbed the pizza and Crazy Bread out of my hands.
"It's about time! Do you know how hard it was for me to pick that up and carry it while I was (I held out my hand to show the superballs) busy holding your balls?"
Two twenty-something dudes turned to look at me. The Pony ducked his head and groaned. I grabbed the soda, and we made a grand exit. I'm not sure The Pony will ask for change again at Little Caesars.