How Do We Repay a Good Deed?

My wife was at the Apple Store, a vile place that is kryptonite to upstanding Android/PC devotees such as myself, where they have those out the door lines. I suspect they make you take your shoes off to pass the threshold like when you were ten and went over to that kid’s house whose mom was a retired marine. The lady in line behind her heard my wife tell the clerk, who likely has a much more outlandish title than clerk, that she was there to replace her Apple Pencil (not ipencil because of “I, Pencil” I assume) as it had ceased. The woman behind her, untitled as far as we know, said that she was there to upgrade her something or another and that her Apple Pencil wouldn’t be compatible with the new set up. She gave my wife her old one.

That was really nice of her. It saved us a hundred and twenty buck or so, bolstered my rosey faith in humanity, and may have set her up for an adversarial interaction with the clerk (technology-duala or whatever) depending on whether iclerks work on icommissions. That eavesdropping line lady is alright.

So how do repay her kindness? We are on the down on the ledger and manners requires at least a gesture of some sort. I can only assume that the electronic item she gave us was first altered to track our location and listen into our conversations. We could put on some sort of show for her.

At first, I thought we’d play some music for her. The problem is what to play. Baroque? Classical? It’s easy to avoid the obvious. No one likes Bjork. The problem is that some acts with decent to large followings, like Billy Ocean, are insipid to right thinking people. I may love Otis Redding, REM, and Kris Kristofferson but there are people who wrongly think about their music the way people should think about Ocean’s. I don’t want to accidentally torture her with sounds she foolishly objects to and imply that her musical tastes are less than impeccable.

I thought about putting on a radio play. It might be fun. The family could make a day of rehearsal and years from now repeat a remembered line to rouse in us warm nostalgia. But the same problems arise as with music. I’d lobby for Ellery Queen, my wife can’t get enough Little Orphan Annie, and the kids are Abbott and Costello fans through and through. I know what you’re thinking and yes. The Charlie McCarthy Show would be the perfect compromise, but we don’t have a decent ventriloquist among us. Our squabbles aside, we still don’t know what the eavesdropper likes. Well… we probably do, but…

It’s not that I’m shy. It’s just that I hurt my leg and I’m afraid an “Oww!” or a “No… Hold on… Okay that’s better,” would spoil the moment. Plus, we’d have to clearly state that it’s not an oddity for the Apple Pencil to be in the bedroom with us. If we didn’t, she might think it’s being incorporated into the act and regret her generosity or worse, since the device told her where we live, she might start sending more and more outlandish presents. I’m not a jukebox and I don’t do requests. We can’t let her get the wrong idea and the artist in me won’t interrupt a narrative with an information dump. Third rule of scriptwriting: Eschew Exposition.

So, we’re at a loss. If we had her address we could email a handwritten note. She paid it forward and we can’t pay it back.

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