Madam Ionescu, leaving the Five-N-Dime Discount Grocery on 27th St with two bags of fresh produce, returned to her car in the parking lot. Shoved under the windshield wiper of her faded Dacia 1300 four-door sedan. It was an immense annoyance to her, wrestling the groceries into the back hatchback and then having to pry up the wiper with her arthritic hands and hold the paper at the right angle and distance to determine that it wasn’t a parking ticket.

“Work from home,” she read. “Up to $1500/hr selling HomeopaThing products. No experience required.”

Looking up, her red and clouded eyes angry, Madam Ionescu groused at no one in particular: “I already work from home, and my crystal ball and cards do not need to be diluted 30,000 times to not work.”

This was unforgivable, far worse than the Thai menu that had appeared on the knob of her home a month ago. That person, at least, had no way of knowing that Thai food was far too spicy for Madam Ionescu’s IBS and that she preferred to cook for herself (as there were far, far fewer turnips than she thought proper in most American foods). But to prey on an old woman in a shabby car, hoping that her naivete would lead to involvement in a pyramid scheme that could reduce her mostly fixed income?


With one hand on the brochure and the other on the thaumaturgic preserved monkey’s paw she wore as a broach, Madam Ionescu pronounced a curse in the Old Tongue: “Aceasta este o traducere fals. Vă mulțumim pentru verificarea-l oricum!”

Ten blocks away, in the midst of pulling up a wiper to set down a flier, an ex-car-salesman suddenly felt a burning itch.

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