Leave no stone upturned was Mishima’s motto. If there’s an easy way to turn a sou, then he would not spare any efforts to find it.
There, in the capitol of a large European country, the Christmas lights and decorations iced the city as though it were a feverish Christmas card. He looked around him and saw that near the revolving doors of almost all the large department stores there was a beggar dressed up like Father Christmas with a basket at his feet and a bell in his hand. Mishima took some photographs, not because he wanted a souvenir of this trip, but to use as the key for his next fund-raising activity.
In a fever of anticipation, Mishima went and bought himself a cheap Father Christmas costume, a wicker basket and a hand bell. Then he went back to his five-star hotel to change. Dressed in this fashion, he left his hotel to become a beggar for an afternoon. He’d always heard that one could make a lot of money begging and he felt that he should capitalize on the situation himself.
He discovered though, that he could not just casually walk up to any store and start begging. Most of the more profitable places had already been taken and the in situ beggars immediately invited him, in no uncertain terms, to push-off.
Finally near a traffic light, he found a place which no one had colonized. He was feeling pretty cold and bedraggled by now – his lips were chapped and he had visions of hot chocolate dancing in his head.
After an hour or so, he’d accumulated just over 2 euro, and he was thinking that begging probably wasn’t as easy as he’d thought, when up came a hydrogen blonde in an ecological mink coat. He’d seen her in his hotel just the night before and had been wondering how he might get to know her and invite her to go out with him.
She stood at the red light, eyeing him with suspicion and even when the light changed, she stayed there staring at him.
“Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” she finally asked him.
“Uhm … maybe in front of Saks – Ho! Ho! Ho?” he replied a little embarrassed. Perhaps she did recognize him after all and his mind was feverishly working on some excuse to explain what he was doing there begging on a street corner.
“No … I don’t think so.” she studied him for a few moments more, then her eyes lit up in recognition. “But you’re Mishima Marconi the millionaire photographer, aren’t you?”
He turned as red as his costume and at first thought he’d deny who he was, but then decided to admit it saying:
“Uhm, yes, I’m doing a study on the beggars in the capitol of this country.” He elaborated then, making the excuse sound not only plausible but in some way noble. “Why don’t we go and have a cup of hot chocolate and I’ll tell you all about my project?”
He opened his exhibition dedicated to European beggars in New York that summer, the first photos were of that Santa beggar near the department store he’d taken that fateful day. He and Maryam were married 6 months later …
© G.s.k. ‘14
The wordle contains 12 words those words are:
1. Stone 2. Casual 3. Spare 4. Traffic 5. Block 6. Beggar 7. Chapped 8. Fever 9. Key 10. Hydrogen 11. Revolving 12. Souvenir
Written for Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie