“Hello,” I said as I answered the phone.

On the other end of the line was Harold, my old friend. “Hi James, this is Harold.”

“Hi. What’s up?” I questioned.

Harold said, “I got my spit kit for the DNA sample. I just wanted to let you know.”

We went over the instructions for Harold to fill a small tube with saliva and send it in to the DNA testing company. He wanted to find out about his ancestry. He liked the information I had gotten about my ancestry.

After we finished our discussion of the spit kit Harold said, “James, I went to a pedicurist to buy Betty a gift certificate for a pedicure. It was for her birthday. “

Harold loves to joke around with people so I knew a story was coming. Harold continued, “Yeah, these little Asian women run the place. They are some of the best in town. They don’t speak English too well. When I walked in the door, I decided to kid around with them.”

Harold loves to talk to strangers especially if he can start the conversation with a story or a joke. Usually the person is not expecting that they may be in for a small con.

Harold said, “I told the Vietnamese lady that I wanted to buy a pedicure gift certificate for my wife. The lady said they cost twenty dollars.”

Harold began describing his ruse. “I said, ‘I am a little short of cash. I only have ten dollars right now and it is her birthday. Is it okay if I just buy a pedicure for one foot? I will have another ten dollars in a few weeks. Then, she can come in and get a pedicure on the other foot.’” Harold went on, “She looked at me like she didn’t understand what I was saying. I repeated it and she immediately said, ‘No, we cannot do that.’ She looked at me like I was crazy.”

Harold said he kept asking her about a way that he could break the certificate into two visits. She kept telling him he could not.

Finally, Harold laughed and said, “I was just kidding. Let me have the gift certificate. She looked at him for a while and got the joke. She said, ‘Oh, you a funny man.’”

I’m sure if Harold were to go back to that pedicurist she would remember who he was. I wonder what they will think of Betty who is married to this “funny man?”

For in-depth stories about Harold and friends you can find them in my book Life Lessons for My Daughters at http://www.jamesparkerauthor.com.