Flying Fish

By Michael J. Legeros

On Saturday, I paid an early morning social call on a young lady.
We *were* to have held a porch sale (see: yard sale), but an ear-
lier-morning string of extra-strength thunderstorms had left the
outdoor storefront soggy.  (My contribution would've included a
spinning CD rack, an ancient typewriting word processor, one box o'
junk, and thirty-or-so tee-shirts.)  Nonetheless, I made an appear-
ance and intended to bring a present.  Something small, that I'd
buy at Target, which was my *first* destination of the day.  See,
it was just after 8:00 a.m., which is the time Target opens, so I
decided to make a "toy run."  Background:  die-cast cars, like Hot
Wheels and Matchbox, are often released in limited quantities.  Or,
as harder-to-find special editions.  So, securing one of these rar-
er cars-- like the Matchbox Collectibles' Chevy Impala fire chief's
car I was seeking-- require repeat visits.  Or, or in addition to,
first-opening visits.  You know, seeing if the shelves were stocked
overnight.  (Alas, such treasures are also sought by so-called
"scalpers"-- people who buy *all* of a rare toy and then resell at
a far-higher price.)

Around 8:30, I arrive at Garner Station.  The parking lot is nearly
empty, 'cept for Hundred Dollar Depot.  And Chick Fil-A, which ap-
parently serves breakfast, and outside of which is parked one of
the Garner Fire Department's newest pumping engines.  (Don't know
the unit number, but I believe it's stationed at Station #3.)  This
Target, relatively recently opened, *reeks* of chemicals and plas-
tics and I wince every time I enter, while making a bee-line for
the toy section, which I *also* do every time I enter.  Alas, no
dice on the fire toy front.  (The only kind I buy, 'cept for some-
thing rare that'll fetch a couple extra bucks on ebay.  But I'm not
a scalper...)  I do find a gift for my friend, however.  Plus a
pair of blank tapes (audio) and a case of Slim-Fast.  You know,
those chocolate-flavored "meals in a can."  (Also good for inducing
stomach cramps, if you're mildly lactose-intolerant!)  Checking out
is a snap, of course, and then, on the way out, something happens.
In the parking lot.  Involving a car.  And a car antenna.  And the
string of a balloon.  Specifically, the string of the large, Mylar
balloon that I've bought as a gift.  Let's just say, the giant fish
was last seen floating somewhere over southeast Raleigh.

Copyright 2000 Michael J. Legeros


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