Thursday April 8th, 2010

A Selection

From Norwood by Charles Portis:

[Norwood] walked up as far as Fifty-ninth Street, where things began to peter out, then came back. There was a man in a Mr. Peanut outfit in front of the Planters place but he was not giving out sample nuts, he was just walking back and forth. The Mr. Peanut casing looked hot. It looked thick enough to give protection against small arms fire.

“Do they pay you by the hour or what?” Norwood said to the monocled peanut face.

“Yeah, by the hour,” said a wary, muffled voice inside.

“I bet that suit is heavy.”

“It’s not all that heavy. I just started this morning.”

“How much do you get a hour?”

“You ask a lot of questions, don’t you?”

“Do you take the suit home with you?”

“No, I put it on down here. At the shop.”

“The one in Dallas gives out free nuts.”

“I don’t know anything about that. They didn’t say anything to me about it.”

“He don’t give you many, just two or three cashews.”

“I don’t know anything about that. I work at the post office at night.”

“Well, I’ll see you sometime, Mr. Peanut. You take it easy.”

“Okay. You too.”