Without even the briefest of pauses for dramatic effect, Manny continued with his loser’s litany of episodes and escapades.
Selma responds with her list of canned responses; like
“ Wow “, “ Amazing1”, Unbelievable! “ and “ Holy Cow! “
Continuing his tale of imaginary lust, greed, anger, envy, sloth, gluttony, pride and loose-living that could only have occurred in one of his wilder dreams, Manny is thinking it might substitute for all those trips to confession he had never been able to bring himself to make.
“ I imagine you must feel better getting all that stuff off your chest.”
“ It was quite a while ago. Most of it took place while I was in the Utah National Guard. My enlistment in the infantry fit neatly in between the first and second of what has been referred to as the Bush Family’s Gulf Wars and my main benefit from the VA was to not get shot or maimed for life by an IED. ”
Manny brought all this to a close with,
“ Actually I’ve been with Walmart for about the last fifteen years, stacking shelves with a forklift at all three locations. I’ve been the Assistant Electronics Department manager at the downtown store on Hope Avenue since November of last year.
When I got the letter from Amsterdam, I thought it would be a good time to ask for a raise or a promotion. But when I did, I got, “How would you like to get a vacation instead? , so I took it.”
“ What letter? ”
“ Oh, some scam about me inheriting an estate settlement in the Netherlands.”
“ Those robo mailings and calls are a real pain.”
“Yeah. They certainly are but this one has been useful.”
Still reticent about sharing the contents of the letter in his pocket for fear it might be real and authentic, Manny grew silent.