The mysterious ring peddler.

After Steve loaded the final bag into the customer’s car, he gently closed the trunk and with a smile he turned to the customer and said, “Have a nice day.”

As he began pushing the empty shopping cart back to the grocery store in preparation for the next customer, he saw a strange man wearing tattered clothes while seated on the bench just outside the store. The man saw Steve approaching and motioned for him to come over.

As Steve approached he saw the man holding a cigar box. The man smiled at him while baring a mouth full of dirty, crooked teeth. The stench from his filthy clothes was overwhelming, so Steve adjusted his stance to stand out of its way as to allow the breeze to dilute the smell.

“How you, sir?” the man greeted with his broken English. “Would you like buy lucky ring?”

The man opened the cigar box and revealed some crudely assembled rings. Upon closer inspection, Steve noticed they were small pieces of asphalt that were hastily glued to some rusty keyrings.

“Lucky rings, huh?” Steve chortled.

“Lucky ring, rings LUCK,” the man said firmly, “Wear and luck follow you everywhere. Stone come from Lucky Island in Jamaica. Is luckiest stone in world.”

“I see,” Steve pretended to look interested.

“Wear ring and you get money in mailbox, every day. Is check, five thousand dollar. Every day. You no have to work.”

Then why aren’t you wearing better clothes? Steve felt like asking, but decided to stay quiet and let the man continue.

“When go to casino, wear ring. You no have to play, money come to you. The slot machine, coins come pouring out when you walk by. Roulette room, moneys come pour from ceiling. Poker, take out wallet or bring butterfly net because moneys come fly at you.”

Steve was laughing while trying to keep a straight face, which he found harder and harder to do. Yet the man continued his strange tale.

“When you go bathroom, men pee silver coins and shit bars of gold.”


Steve was laughing so hard that he fell off the bench, thankful for the soft ground that cushioned his fall. There he lay, continuing to laugh while the man on the bench continued his talk as if nothing happened.

“…and get yourself a poodle because they will doo-doo diamonds…”


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