Today has been full of surprises. Good ones. One really good one. It started this morning when I walked to work, and saw this in my neighbor’s front yard, which I figured was a good sign:
I looked startled by my good fortune, as my paparazzi document the moment in the background. I mean, this is a famous ham. It’s not a pretty ham, but, well, it’s seventy-five. We have been stalking this ham for a year. Every time we’ve asked to see the ham, we’ve gotten a different story: on the premises, not on the premises, in deep freeze, doesn’t exist, exists but only one person has the key, exists and we know who has the key and maybe they’ll bring it out for the anniversary in May.
We then toasted good luck in general, when our most kind bartender brought us these special tiny beers, and said we had to drink them three sips (no more, no less) for good luck. Some of us struggled with that math. But we’re all pretty sure we acquired the luck. I walked back to work, and the girls went down to Mecca, where they could keep an eye on the line.
They texted me within minutes, while I was reviewing color samples at my desk. The text included a photo. Of The Ham. “UNIVERSE DOES NOT LOVE ME $#%!'” I texted back. Immediate return text: “They’ll leave it out for you if we tell them you’re on the way.”
I explain the predicament to my boss, who immediately gets on board with this expedition. He gets out the good camera. I can not contain my joy. “Universe loves me,” I announce to the world at large. “You already knew that,” says my boss.
And we meet the ham.
It is room temperature, and hard like plastic, and a lot flatter than I’d have guessed. If you get up close, it still smells like ham. We have a lot of questions. Why? Why did someone pay for a meal with a ham? It doesn’t sound like a fair trade. Maybe it was for a bunch of people? Maybe the ham was in bad shape already but the owners were kind enough to barter? Why didn’t they cut it and serve it, back in the 40’s? Why did it sit in the window for decades?
We discussed this over more beer. That’s a lot of beer, before 4 pm on a Friday, but buying the boss a beer is a fair trade for being a good sport about the ham. And everyone involved had serious spring fever, anyway.
There we all were, giddy with our conquest. Julia’s comment was, “Can you believe we’re all here, elated about a ham? How crazy is this?”
“Glad y’all said it,” came a voice from behind the bar.
We all proceeded to ditch work, boss included. Worked out great for the crowd lining up at Kings; I joined them for an hour or so while Willow, William, Audrey, Julia and I took in the sunshine, chatted with neighbors in the crowd, and admired the dog wearing the NCSU bandana. I figure, all those lucky omens are just plain…lucky.
And the part of the day I’m most excited about hasn’t even happened yet. Fingers crossed for an evening of happy surprises. But it’ll be hard to top the ham.