Ken and his Northwest Electronic had been the source of my surplus electronics for several years. Ken’s place was my toy store. Now he was finding it difficult to keep his shelves filled. “I’m going to shut down the surplus side of my business,” he said, and he announced he was having an auction – selling stuff by the pallet.
The Saturday of his this event I had to work. I didn’t get to participate. But I knew my elderly friend, Jim, had gone.
“Was it a good auction?”
“A great auction. I asked Ken about his plans and he told me he was going into aerobics.”
“Aerobics! That’s a stretch from electronics.”
“That’s what I thought,” said Jim, “but that’s what he told me.
Northwest Electronics was on a side street, kind off the beaten path, so a year passed before I had occasion to drive by his place. I was surprised to see the sign up and even more surprised to see Ken at the counter inside. So I swung into the parking lot and went in.
“Hey! I see you’re back in business.”
“Back? I never got out.”
“Really? I you were getting out of electronics and going into aerobics,” I said.
“Aerobics? Who’d you hear that from?”
“Jim said you told him that.”
Ken’s face went blank. After a moment he said: “I remember that conversation. I told him I was going into robotics. I wondered why business fell off so quickly.”
I didn’t know what else to say. In fact, I thought I’d probably already said too much. So I got in my car and drove away.