While walking to lunch on State Street the other day, I noticed that a group of black-clothed, trench coat-wearing kids in deep argument with a middle-aged man.

Baby Swapping

Upon further inspection, I realized that the crowd was gathered around a stroller, and the man was pushing a stroller of his own.

Apparently, the group was trying to trade strollers with the man. They were offering a simple one-for-one deal: their baby for his. The man was appalled and pointed out to the group that their baby was a doll.

Unperturbed, one of the group members loudly continued trying to barter.

I thought about sticking around to watch the conclusion, but realized it would probably carry on for another 20 minutes. Also, I was hungry.

DAVE MEKELBURG

A surprising serenade

I was sitting at a table full of nicely dressed people in a lovely restaurant in the middle of downtown Gottensburg, Sweden.

My dad was at the brink of being hired for his dream career.

I was surrounded by recruitment officers and other company representatives, smiling and making pleasantries.

One of the reps asked me what I did, and I said, “I’m a student at the University of Michigan, in the States.”

“Oh, in Ann Arbor?” the rep relied. I was momentarily boggled that he knew of our fine little city, and for a fleeing moment I wondered if Ann Arbor has the same international acclaim of Paris or Rome.

“Yes,” I replied.

I saw smiles playing on the lips of some of our dinner companions, and finally someone exclaimed, “We love the Wolverines! Are you excited for football next season?”

There was laughter all around, someone started humming “Hail to the Victors,” and dinner was delicious.

In the end, my dad got the job.

CONSTANTINA KARATHANASIA

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