1. No signature required
2. There was no fire exit
3. The umbrella blew out

The gingko trees were supposed to be yellow. The leaves on gingkos up and down Josie Avenue always turned yellow by the third week of November, but for some reason this year there was no yellow blanket on the parking strips and no odd shaped golden flags attached to the branches. It just didn’t seem like Thanksgiving when the color show was nothing more than a dusty tint on the green foliage.

“Give it another week,” Jerry told us with his long tenure of residence on Josie Ave. as backup for his assertion. “It’s supposed to rain this evening and according to my bones, the temperature is going to drop along with it. That’ll give those leaves a kick in the tail. I figure by next Sunday there won’t be a single green leaf on the whole street.”

His wife looked a little doubtful, but Phyllis knew just like the rest of us that Jerry was seldom wrong about such things. He could have claimed old sage status simply by virtue of his age, which as far as he knew was between 90 and 93, but we all accepted that on matters of nature, nobody could top Jerry’s intuitive knowledge.

“If you say so, dear,” Phyllis said. “I hope it won’t be a long storm, though. Amazon says those computer things we ordered will be delivered on Tuesday, and I don’t think Caleb will be happy if his Christmas presents get soaked.”

I finished the last sip of cocoa and stood up to head for home after a coffee-and-leftovers lunch with the old friends.

“They won’t just leave it anyway, will they?” I asked Phyllis. “I thought they wouldn’t do that unless you specifically marked No Signature Required. You surely wouldn’t do that for electrical stuff!”

“Electronic!” Jerry looked at me as if I were an utter moron. Actually, I guess that wasn’t too far off the mark when it came to computers and such.

“You don’t ever order online, do you, Karen?” he went on. “I mean, you don’t have a lot of experience with the way they do things these days.” I shook my head. Jerry was well aware tha I wanted nothing to do with those boxes that hold all our lives inside them.

“No, sir!” I folded my arms across my chest and took a firm stance just inside the front door. “I go shop in a real store with real people to wait on me. I pay for what I buy, too, with real money. I’ve never used a credit card in all my 62 years and I’ve never even turned on a computer. I have no use for such things.”


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