My friend Jeffery told me about these punny flower shop murder mysteries: Mum’s the Word, Slay it With Flowers, and—my personal favorite—Dearly Depotted.
Even the cover quote is a pun. Bouquet of characters? Oh man. I’d like Kate Collins to write another version of Steal Magnolias.
I have robbery on the brain for two reasons.
One: Today I have to appear in court to fight a bike ticket. In December, two park rangers waved me down on the Hudson River path around 59th street, right after the tunnel. There were other bikers… who kept going. But because I pedal like I’m from North Carolina, and wear a pink helmet, I’m an easy target for city officials with a Christmas quota. So unfair. I was robbed I tell you, robbed!
It is humiliating to get a ticket. It is doubly humiliating when those issuing the ticket are on foot, and you have wheels. When I lived in Georgia, I was fined for pulling into a parking space without turning on my left signal. I was in a car. The cop? He was on a horse. A horse. I remember it’s big eye and loose gums when I rolled down my window. It was laughing.
I’ve never been to court. I’ve watched a lot of courts: Night Court, People’s Court, Court TV. This helps. It says I should be polite. But should I be Harry Anderson polite or Nancy Grace polite?
Two: I entered a travel blogging contest. It’s fitting that it’s sponsored by Lastminute.com, since I waited until the last minute. I could never win anything sponsored by Writethisinadvance.com. Anyway, their newsletter is called “Triptease.” How could I not enter? I had to write, in 300 words or less, about my best ever weekend or holiday. Here are my 300 words:
My best ever weekend began in Barcelona, at the start of Three Kings holiday, after a second round of San Miguels, when I was robbed.
I was strolling arm-in-arm with Spanish friends I had met the summer prior in Central America. I had flown to Barcelona for a New Years reunion. We were coming from our last dinner together. My suitcase was packed.
After the Moroccan men wretched my purse from me, after we gave chase, I saw not my life pass before my eyes but the items in my bag: first my Passport, then my Bobby Brown lipgloss, then my brand-new Nano. I fell to my knees and cried “My iPod, my iPod!” It was all so very Verdi.
When I went to the police station to file a report, I quickly learned the English translation of the street where I met with thieves. Robador: it means robber. I was robbed on Robber Street. For a good two hours, the Catalan cops assessed my situation—and laughed.
I lost everything. I had nothing to prove my identity, no money, no lipgloss. Three Kings meant the consulate was closed.
Mireia, my Catalan friend, squeezed my hand. She took me to her extended family in Figueres. Figueres is the birthplace of Salvidor Dali. For three days, I feasted on sauces and surrealism. I drank good wine. I wrote. I taught her brother English. Her sister taught me choreography from the nude opera she danced in. Mireia’s father taught me Spanish history in broken French at the table with military encyclopedias, since I didn’t speak Spanish or Catalan. Her senile grandmother taught me how to dress for a date with, ironically, the Catalan cop who approached me in a small bar in Figueres. It was storybook: he asked Mireia’s family for permission to take me on an afternoon excursion into the countryside. He kissed me, vowed to avenge my robbery, and presented me with his childhood book of Neruda’s poems as a pledge.
Barcelona stole my purse. Figueres stole my heart.
Have a great weekend everyone.