Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Great Berkeley Shopple Off of 1963

When I was pregnant with Richard, I seemed to be incredibly attractive to men. More of them tried to get involved with me than at any other time of my life. It was rather amazing. Among the men who were interested in me were Dick, who I later married, and Tom. I had known Dick for a couple of years, but Tom was new. I was sitting in a local hamburger joint drinking a Pepsi and he came over, asked if he could sit at my table (there were no empty ones about) and when I agreed to that, asked if I was someone's wife or girlfriend. I answered that I wasn't, but I was pregnant. Which seemed to be icing on the cake.

Anyway, soon I had Dick and Tom vying with each other for my attention. Since dueling had been outlawed, they had to find some other way to compete. The Shopple Off began when Dick walked out of a garden center with a six foot tall potted plant and gifted me with it. This was followed by Tom shoplifting the ingredients for dinner, which he then cooked for me.

So, Dick countered by liberating an entire bolt of peacock blue silk from India Imports. Tom responded with a mop and bucket for my new apartment (which happened to be with Dick), so Dick had to obtain a kitchen table with chairs. The mop, bucket, table, and chairs had come from a laundromat, walked out with in the wee hours of the morning.

Then, in what surely should have been the boldest move of all, Tom and his cousin went to the UC Student Union when they opened one Saturday, moved a couch out onto the front porch, and sat and talked until midnight, when the Student Union closed. Since the staff who closed up was not the same as the staff who had opened, they didn't know the couch belonged inside, and left it. After the streets had quieted down, Tom and his cousin carried it the three miles to my apartment. When they heard a car coming, they would sit the couch down, sit on it, and pretend to make out.

Pretty bold, you say? Well, you don't know Dick. A couple of nights after Tom brought me my couch, Dick borrowed a pickup and drove over to the UC campus at about 2:00 a.m. Outside of the Student Union were a number of slate topped coffee tables, six feet across. As Dick arrived, he saw that the cleaning crew was picking up garbage and sweeping. He checked a number of the tables, finally approached one of the crew and asked if he could help get the table on the truck so Dick could take it to be tightened.

He got the help. He got the table. He got the girl.

In A Nutshell follows with a further example of my lawless past.


Deja Pseu said...

Heh, great story! Those were different times, eh?

Maya's Granny said...

Yes, those were different times. I no longer drive men to a life of crime, nor would I consider them gallant if they did such things.

Maya's Granny has become respectable in her old age.