I Sold a Rug to Fran Drescher
Here was the Nanny, talking like the Nanny, dressed kind of sexily, the way she dressed on TV, walking around my store with a tall, handsome guy.
It was one of those perfect beach days. My last day off had been foggy and rainy, a total waste of a day. This combination of factors always made me especially resentful of my retail gig selling overpriced hand-hooked rugs to the bloated summer populace of Nantucket. As an old camp pal wouldâ€™ve put it, my days were deadâ€¦dead as a doornail.
The highlights of my eight-hour shifts were the smoke breaks Iâ€™d try to coordinate with those of the scruffy British guy who worked as a sous-chef next door. His were hand-rolled, a bit messily. I found it amazing that he never tried to lick off or wipe away the bits of tobacco that ended up stuck to his lips.
That morning, Iâ€™d looked forward to lunch, when I could bring my tuna-salad sandwich and can of soda to the small park across the street and pore over the latest volume of _Tales of the City._ I was going through one about every three days, mostly during slow periods, when Iâ€™d hide the book behind the cash register and tear through it.
An hour or so after lunch, the telltale honk of the Nanny cut through whatever was going on in _Tales._ It cut through the haze I was in that summer, and suddenly I felt electrified. Here was the Nanny, talking like the Nanny, dressed kind of sexily, the way she dressed on TV, walking around my store with a tall, handsome guy. She was _Nnnn_-ing and _Onnn_-ing over the same ovals imprinted with bunnies and baskets of strawberries that I stared at every day. With a bigger celebrity, I mightâ€™ve asked for an autograph. In this case, I felt oddly removed, as if I were inside a TV episode.
She swept in and swept out, pausing for a few minutes to admire a 10- x 12-foot rug illustrated with scenes of Noahâ€™s ark in nursery pastels. She handed over a charge card and dropped $1K (plus shipping). It was one of my biggest sales all summer. And it was the only day all summer when I actually had something to report to my mom when I got home.
â€œHow was your day?â€ she asked.
â€œFine,â€ I said. â€œI sold a rug to Fran Drescher."