The two men approaching the customer service desk were a classic odd couple. The one in the lead was of slightly short stature, round in shape. He wore a rumpled button down shirt under one of those well worn raincoats that might be brown or might be gray. Balding wisps of hair extended from his head in most directions.
His partner was a full head taller, a feature accentuated by the red and black plaid wool hunter’s cap, complete with earflaps, which topped his frame. His face was long and thin, matching the rest of his body. His raincoat matched his partner’s.
“We’re looking for a book on how to pronounce French names”, the first stated as he reached the desk. This was a request both broad and narrow. “Pronounce French names” was typed into the computer but the search came up empty. The two appeared crestfallen.
“How about I try looking for a book on using French names for a new baby?” the bookseller suggested. The pair brightened with hope. Sure enough, the result listed two books on French names for expectant parents. Neither was in stock but both could be ordered and in the store within a few days.
“That’s great”, number one said with obvious relief. “You see, we’re getting a pair of French Poodles puppies next week and want them to have real French names. Let’s order them both”. Number two smiled with joy.
A smile crept across the bookseller’s face. “I’m sure these will be very helpful.”
Now the tall partner chimed in. “Yup, and want to be sure that we pronounce the names right so that they’ll know when we’re speaking to them!”
The order was placed and the two left the store smiling and chatting with each other in anticipation.
The bookseller was left with the image of two middle aged men earnestly calling “Jack! Jack!” to a slumbering dog who doesn’t respond until one snaps his fingers in realization, elbows his partner, and with a knowing look on his face now yells ”Jacques! Jacques!” - at which point the hound leaps to his feet and bounds happily toward the proud, beaming couple.