Its Bad Business

A Reasonable Amount of Trouble 1999: I was putting Madame Bovary on a sagging, pine shelf in the ‘Classics’ section of Penny’s Pre-owned Publications in sunny San Berdoo when I sensed him behind me. I knew he was close because I could smell his garlicky breath. Even the moldy works of Moli’re on the shelf at my nose level, a sanctuary for a horde of dust mites, could not mask his approach. I’d seen him devour two Big Macs and fries for lunch not long before that didn’t have any garlic, so the odor was probably because he hadn’t brushed his teeth in a while.

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