I pondered that as we passed a caricature booth. A small group of elderly women surrounded one of their friends as she posed for the artist. A woman clad in lavender velour took one look at me and gasped, bringing me to the attention of the entire group.
“Goodness gracious!” she cried as she rushed over and began running my cape between her fingers. “What on earth are you wearing?”
I searched for Blake over my shoulder and found nothing but the bustling crowd. “Um … It’s a costume. I’m a performer down on the end of the Pier.”
“Dorothy, did you hear that!?” cried another woman sporting a sunhat the size of a manhole cover. “She’s a performer! Oh, honey. Won’t you put on a little show for us?” The women behind her squealed with delight, nodding and clapping furiously.
“Well …” I hedged. Lying on the fly is not my forté. “I’m not a solo performer. I’m a magician’s assistant. My partner … He’s … Well, he ate too many funnel cakes, so he’s visiting the commode.”
“Ah… Funnel cakes will do that,” agreed a tiny, wrinkly old woman in what looked like a frilly pink romper. “My Walter, God rest his soul, called them Hansel and Gretel Cakes. Whenever he’d eat one, he’d leave a trail behind him on the way home. Not of bread crumbs, of course …”
My eyes bulged in horror as the group nodded in understanding.
The lavender lady finished fiddling with my cape and shuffled around to my front, eyeing the bird logo screen printed on my chest. “What does this stand for, honey?”
I had no idea. I’d never asked Carl what it stood for. I shrugged my shoulders slightly. “I’m not totally sure. A friend made it for me.”
“Is that right? Well your friend has some serious talent! The workmanship on these stitches is wonderful! Do you have any extras I could buy off you? Perhaps something in a light purple or periwinkle?”
“I’ll need a built-in brazier for mine,” chimed a heavy-set woman in the back.
“Mabel, you’ll need a couple of built-in, reinforced hammocks to wrangle those monsters!” Snapped the sunhat lady.
“Well at least I won’t have to roll mine up like a couple of boobie burritos, you saggy old bitty! Good gravy, if you had nipple rings, they’d leave sparks on the cement everywhere you walked!”
The gaggle of grandmas immediately erupted. Sunhat lady began tucking her breasts into her trousers in preparation for their showdown. Lavender abandoned fondling my super suit to help hold back hammock boobs. I took the opportunity to slowly back away from the chaos and melt into the passing crowd.