She waved her hand in a wide but unobtrusive arc, more wrist than arm. “Every time I see these things I think about John’s nuts.”
Here we go. “Yeah? What things?”
“All these big green egg things. They remind me of John’s nuts, that’s all.”
Big green egg shaped things and John somebody’s nuts.
“He’s dead, now.” She let that hang a moment. “He was at work one day, all chirpy, saying he was okay, and he was gone the next day. It was all kind of sad.”
Okay, maybe this John guy had big green nuts and that’s what killed him. Big green nuts would do that, kill a guy if he didn’t get them checked out. If I woke up with big green nuts I would sure as hell beat it to the Doc’s.
“We all ate his nuts for like three months.”
Hold on. “You all ate John’s nuts?”
“So did we, you and I. You remember, from the Christmas party a few years ago? Taller, kind of poinky. Gray hair. He was gay and a really nice man. We saw him that time at the store and I introduced you?”
“Oh yeah, right. Him. You worked with him for a while?” The only person I remembered from the Christmas parties was a black dude trumpet player who taught music and was fun, and a sparkly older lady whose daddy had been a senator or governor or something from Louisiana. She held the patent on the old school Southern Belle thing and was sharper than a barber’s razor. Otherwise, like most work Christmas parties, there was never a lack of shortish or tallish, poinky-ish, gray haired, maybe gay people around.
“Yes. He’s dead now.”
“You said that.” Okay. Deep breath. “He didn’t die of giant green egg shaped nuts, did he?”
“No…” She was off somewhere remembering poinky gray gay John, missing his presence at work. Hopefully not his nuts. “It was cancer. They told him he had five or six years after his first round with it, and like clockwork, in four and a half years it was back with a vengeance. He was gone in six months. Anyway, he gave us all a big bag of his roasted nuts for Christmas that year and we ate them for a couple of months.”
“He didn’t like give us chunks of his big green egg shaped nuts that he roasted, right?”
“No. Listen, and don’t be goofy. He roasted his own nuts in one of these green egg griller-roaster things. And gave them to us in a big bag with a ribbon around the top. When I see all these green egg things it reminds me of him and his nuts. Like when I see those beat up cooking pots, you know, the big ones? I think of my grandpa’s boiled peanuts.”
“Peanuts. Big ol’ green egg things and big ol’ beat up cook pots making me think about John’s and grampa’s nuts. I guess I’m weird, huh?”
I raised my eyebrows.
“Oh, you. Stop it. Talk about weird, Mister Weird-o. Did you get those screw-on nipple things you wanted so we can leave?”