"I've told you that you need to protect that thing," Festus said. "Have you ordered a cover yet?"
"Yes," she answered. "And this is the first time I've dropped it, and it wouldn't have happened if I didn't have this huge hole in the pocket that I didn't even know about!"
"You need to duct tape it to you until that cover comes!" Festus said. "It's more fragile than a baby. You can't just put it in your pockets. Would you chuck your baby in a train car full of holes?"
That last question rather surprised me, but Little Girl even more so. "What does a baby have to do with it?" she asked.
"Your phone is more expensive than a baby," he said.
"No it isn't!" she said. "Think about how much a baby costs!"
"They aren't that much when you are carrying them. And they don't eat much," he said.
"But when they are born, it's so expensive!" she said. "And you have to buy furniture and everything!"
At that point i left them to argue out which was more expensive or fragile, a baby or an iPhone, as Red-headed Alec walked in.
"Well, I now know that I have to have a new job," he said.
Manager being a jerk again? i asked.
"That's one way to say it," he noted. "The guy chewed me out in front of customers when I had done something right. But of course, he wouldn't apologize in front of them when he realized he was wrong and I wasn't. I have to get away from this place!"
Yes, you do, i said. You do good work, and you need to be where it's appreciated.
"Well, I did have one thing going for me!" he said. "I had a girlfriend for 4 days!"
Had? i asked. Which of you broke it off?
"Oh, no, we're still together," he said. "What made you think that?"
You said you 'had' a girlfriend for four days, that implies past tense, i said.
"Oh, you should know I speak American, not English! English is more precise, but I only speak American. Or maybe, what do they call it, Ebonics?" he said.
No, i told him. You may have gone to public schools with a lot of African-American kids, but you are still a red-headed Irish American to the core, and i guess you talk like it!
At this point i noticed Festus had gotten up and pulled out a cigarette, and was going to head outdoors. (Several of the boys who hang around here smoke. It makes me furious, but they have to learn for themselves. They are not allowed to do it indoors, and must clean up after themselves.)
Little Girl was tugging on his arm, saying "I was to crush it! Let me!"
Crush what? i asked.
"There's this thing in the filter, and you are supposed to crush it before you light it." she said. "And I like to do it for him, it feels so weird!"
What's in it? i asked.
"Around 4,000 chemicals, 3,000 of which are bad for me," Festus answered. "At least, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to admit and be honest about what it's doing to me."
"Well, I hate the smoking, but crushing the little round thing in the filter is fun," Little Girl said.
Is that in all cigarettes now? i asked.
"Just some brands, it's a flavoring. I just got used to it because it's the brand my mother smoked, and I used to sneak them out of her purse when I was about 14," Festus replied.
Well, don't you ever get used to it! i told Little Girl.
"Oh, don't worry," Festus said. "Red-headed Alec, Young Jacob, both of your sons and I have already told her that if she ever smokes we will take turns beating her up!"
"And don't worry, they mean it!" Little Girl said. "No smoking for me, I'm an athlete. And I have a swim meet tomorrow!"
Armed Forces Day -- Great Britain
ARRL Field Day -- American Radio Relay League's most popular on-air operating event, in which amatuer/ham radio operators practice and drill for communications during emergencies; through tomorrow
Canadian Multiculturalism Day -- Canada
Colorado Brewers' Festival -- Fort Collings, CO, US (celebrate Colorado's rich brewing history with over 30 breweries; through tomorrow)
Day of National Unity -- Tajikistan
Day of Turkmen Workers of Culture and Art -- Turkmenistan
Day Sacred to the Lares -- Ancient Roman Calendar (personal household gods); also
Festival of Jupiter Stator -- Jupiter, Stayer of the Rout, god who helped soldiers especially to stand their ground
Initium Aestatis -- three day festival for the goddess of summer, which season they saw as beginning on this day
Decide to Be Married Day -- sponsored by Barbara Gaughen-Muller; to focus on the joy of couples deciding to be married
Eastern Music Festival -- Guilford College, Greensboro, NC, US (an acclaimed festival and school, with world-class guest artists; through Aug. 1)
Findle-Fritter's Stoat Wheedling Event -- Fairy Calendar
Gettysburg Civil War Relic and Collectors Show -- Gettysburg, PA, US (featuring leading collectors and dealers; through tomorrow)
Great American Backyard Campout -- sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation http://www.nwf.org/Great-American-Backyard-Campout.aspx
Great American Picnic Day -- various dates given, with the most common being the final Saturday of June
"Happy Birthday to You" Day -- tune composed this day in 1859
Independence Day / National Day -- Djibouti
Industrial Workers of The World Day -- founded this day in 1905
Ladies of Country and Bluegrass Music Show -- Waretown, NJ, US (at the historic Albert Music Hall)
Martyrdom of Joseph & Hyrum Smith -- Mormon
Mineral Collecting Field Trips -- Bancroft, ON, CA (every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday this month and next, geologists lead mineral collecting field trips, educating participants about mineral identification, collecting techniques, and earth sciences)
Mixed Races Day -- Brazil
National HIV Testing Day -- US
National Indian Pudding Day
National Orange Blosssom Day
National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day -- US (by Senate resolution)
Purple Hull Pea Festival and World Champion Rotary Tiller Contest -- Emerson, AR, US (the tiny town of Emerson, population 368, puts on a big show that also includes a World Cup Purplehull Pea-Shelling competiton)
Seven Sleepers Day (Siebenschläfertag) -- Germany (according to legend, today's weather determines the pattern for the next seven weeks)
St. Ladislaus' Day (Patron of Szekszard, Hungary)
Sunglasses Day -- a reminder to wear those shades, protect your eyes from UV damage!
Veteranendag -- Netherlands (Veterans Day)
Gabi Wilson, 1997
Madylin Sweeten, 1991
Ed Westwick, 1987
Drake Bell, 1986
Tobey Maguire, 1975
J.J. Abrams, 1976
Jason Patric, 1966
Isabelle Adjani, 1955
Julia Duffy, 1951
James Daughton, 1950
Norma Kamali, 1945
Shirley-Anne Field, 1938
H. Ross Perot, 1930
Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan, 1927
Helen Keller, 1880
Patrick Lafcadio "Koizumi Yakumo" Hearn, 1850
Charles Stewart Parnell, 1846
Live and Let Die(Film), 1973
"Dark Shadows"(TV), 1966
"Captain Video and His Video Rangers"(TV), 1949
Today in History:
General James Wolfe begins the siege of Quebec, 1759
Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and his brother Hyrum Smith, are murdered by a mob at the Carthage, Illinois jail, 1844
George Dixon becomes the first black world boxing champion in any weight class, while also being the first ever Canadian-born boxing champion, 1890
The first solo circumnavigation of the globe is completed by Joshua Slocum from Briar Island, Nova Scotia, 1898
Sailors start a mutiny aboard the Russian Battleship Potemkin, denouncing the crimes of autocracy, demanding liberty and an end to war, 1905
Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter perform the first ever aerial refueling in a DH-4B biplane, 1923
The United States decides to send troops to fight in the Korean War, 1950
The world's first nuclear power station opens in Obninsk, near Moscow, 1954
The world's first ATM is installed in Enfield, London, 1967
The President of Uruguay dissolves Parliament and heads a coup d'état, 1973
U.S president Richard Nixon visits the U.S.S.R., 1974
France grants independence to Djibouti, 1977
The current international treaty defending indigenous peoples, ILO 169 convention, is adopted, 1989
Slovenia, after declaring independence two days before, is invaded by Yugoslav troops, tanks, and aircraft, starting the Ten-Day War, 1991
Bill Gates resigns from Microsoft to focus on his charity work, 2008
The first democratic election in the history of Guinea is held, 2010
Tests show radioactive cesium is present in small quantities in residents of Iitate and Kawamata, Fukushima, towns located 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 2011
NASA launches IRIS, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, a space probe to observe the Sun, 2013