"Sir! Sir! Sir!"
A salesman taps Mr. Macauley on the shoulder just as he is about to walk out. Mr. Macauley turns around. "Yes?"
"I have something you won't want to miss out on," says the salesman. He holds out a cylinder shaped object with a handle at the top. "It's called the Re-TAW Elt-TOB. We just got it. It's pricey, but very useful." He holds it out for Mr. Macauley to examine.
He does. His teenage daughter, Olivia, sporting a hot pink sweatshirt and a messy bun, rolls her eyes. "Dad..." she begins.
"Now, hold on a minute, Liv," says Mr. Macauley. "I think this might be something we might want to buy."
"Oh, you will want to buy this," the salesman assures Olivia. He then closes his eyes and holds one finger up to the sky, as if he is about to pass on the ancient wisdom of his ancestors. "It is the most vital, the most wonderful, the most practical product you could ever buy. For from its spout flows the streams of life, the streams of which us humans cannot live."
"That's one way to put it," Olivia mutters.
"That's beautiful," Mr. Macauley says, wiping at his eye. Olivia stares at her father in disbelief--- is he really crying?
"And!" exclaims the salesman, back to his peppy self, "Retaw Elttobs are made in all colors of the rainbow." He turns toward Olivia. "You enjoy pink?"
"Well..." he sprints back to an aisle, and comes back with the same object, this time one matching Olivia's sweatshirt. "You can have a pink Retaw Elttob!" He hands it to her.
Olivia waves it away. "I'm good."
The salesman raises an eyebrow. "You sure? Everyone needs a Retaw Elttob."
Olive chuckles. "Not me."
"Well, I want one," says Mr. Macauley, stepping in front of his daughter. He pulls out his wallet. "I'm sold. I'll take gray, if you have it."
The salesman flashes a smile. "I most certainly do."
While the salesman goes back to exchange the Retaw Elttobs, Mr. Macauley turns to Olivia. "Why don't you want one?" he asks her, genuinely concerned.
Olivia shrugs, but there's a hint of a small smile on her lips.
"Here you go!" exclaims the salesman as he comes back.
Mr. Macauley takes the Retaw Elttob, bearing a grin so bright it hurts for Olivia to look. "How much?" he asks.
"Three hundred dollars," the salesman responds.
Olivia bursts out laughing. She's met with a glare from her father.
"Sorry, that's just..." She tries to finish, but can't she can't stop laughing.
"It's a lot, but I'm willing to pay," says Mr. Macauley seriously. He grabs his wallet and counts out three crisp one hundred dollar bills. "Here you go."
"Thank you so much," says the salesman.
"Thank you so much!" responds Mr. Macauley. Then he and Olivia walk out the doors of the store. He pumps his new treasure in the air, shouting, "I have a Retaw Elttob!"
It's not until they have buckled in their seats and are waiting at the stoplight that Olivia starts laughing again. An uncontrollable type of laughter. She grabs her stomach and tries to take a deep breath, but she can't.
Mr. Macauley is annoyed now. Something has been going on with Olivia ever since she was shown the Retaw Elttob, and he needs to know.
"What, Olivia?" he asks. "What do you find so funny?"
"It's just..." Olivia takes a deep breath, finally able to talk. "Wait until I tell my friends that you bought a water bottle for three hundred dollars!"