Opening the Gainesville Sun one Sunday morning, I glanced at the “Pets for Sale” section. Not that I need any more pets.
To my amazement, I find that someone is selling a female camel for $3200. Right here in Gainesville! How exciting!
Let’s see, I have an area about 50 by 20 feet in my side yard. A perfect place for a camel. I just have to buy a bunch of straw and a truckload of camel feed, and I’m in business. What do camels eat? Hell, I don’t know. I’ll find out from the person who’s selling the camel.
Think of it, I can ride my camel all over Gainesville, to the wonder and amazement of all. I will be a celebrity. The $3200 is no problem. I’m making enough money in my freelance business. What better way to spend it than on a camel? (I have to admit, this notion might never have occurred to me after I quit drinking a year later.)
I call the camel owner. No answer. Drat.
An hour later, I call again. What’s the matter with her? Doesn’t she want to sell her stupid camel?
I’m so excited that I call my 40-year-old daughter to tell her about the camel. “You’ll never guess what, Julie!”
“I’m going to buy a camel.”
“What did you say? A camel?”
“Yeah, I found one in this morning’s paper, and I’m going to buy it and keep it in my side yard and ride it around Gainesville.”
“I hate to tell you, Mom, but you can’t do that.”
“And why not?”
“Don’t you know that camels’ feet are ruined on cement? They have to walk on soft ground, like sand in the desert.”
I am crestfallen. “Well, rats. I guess I can’t buy the camel then.”
“Probably not, Mom.”
Well, there goes one great idea out the window.
A year later, the subject of the camel comes up in a phone conversation. We are both laughing at my folly. I say, “Good thing you knew that about camels’ feet, Julie, or I might actually have gone out and bought the thing.”
Julie smirks. “I just made that up, Mom. To talk you out of buying the camel.”