1. I’ve got a pocket full of adventure

2. Go on, give it a whirl

3. Her red painted lips


Fresh out of University with a degree in accounting and a drawer full of papers suggesting that I start repaying my student loans, I was in no position to argue with Ben when he offered me a job.

“I know it’s not what you want, Sammy, but you haven’t had a lot of folks beating on your door, you know. Come on, give it a whirl. I won’t get my feelings hurt if you quit when something better comes along. Besides, you might just find out that you like selling toys after all.”

It was hard to say no to Ben Riverton, harder still to fault him for assuming I’d jump at the chance to work for him. Ben had been in my life since I was born and I knew deep down that he only wanted the best for me. But toys? Not only toys, but the new, exotic line of dolls his company was set to release.

“You’re too young to remember the Cabbage Patch craze,” Ben was telling me. “Those suckers flew off the shelves. Some of them sold for hundreds of times what the manufacturer asked for them. I think these new babes are bound to be the next great selling miracle, and I want you to get in on it.”

All I knew about Cabbage Patch was what my mom had told me. She still had one of the ugly little creatures stored in a box in the garage. She was, she said, waiting for the price to jump up again so she could sell it and make a fortune. I wasn’t so sure that would happen.

The new dolls that had Ben so excited were nothing at all like the Patch kids. These were exotic things with way too much painted-on eye makeup and red-painted lips. They weren’t called Hooker Patch dolls, but it seemed to me that the skimpy costumes and careless poses put them squarely in that category.

“Listen, Ben,” I told him. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you’re trying to do for me, but I just don’t think I’m cut out for dealing with dolls. Maybe you could use me in some other area. How about those transformer things with the cargo pants and safari hats?”

Ben looked shocked and disappointed. I didn’t want to hurt him, but I really had something entirely different planned for my life, anyway. Even if his was the up-and-coming world leader in toys of all types, it wasn’t my idea of silk-suited corporate America. I saw myself as a hard-nosed CFO, not a dolly displayer.