The little old man driving the van tried to make conversation as we drove back to the shop. He gestured to a building (though not, oddly enough, the building from which he'd just picked me up), and asked, "So are you a secretary there?"
I was momentarily taken aback. "What?!" Then I tried (unsuccessfully) to answer politely. "Nooo, definitely not... I'm a computer programmer."
He didn't respond to that comment, perhaps not knowing what to say. Instead he remarked, "That sure is a big building."
I still wasn't sure if he meant the building he'd pointed to, or my office building. Neither were all that big, so I just commented vaguely, "Yeah, there are a lot of offices here in Troy."
He then told me that "everything would be different" when they tore down K-Mart. I knew K-Mart's been struggling, but I hadn't known they were tearing down the K-Mart World Headquarters, and I told him so. "Oh yes, they've already moved most of the people to [somewhere I've forgotten]. They just have some secretaries left in those buildings."
I blinked. Internally, I started laughing at the image. All those office buildings, full of nothing but secretaries? And precisely who did he think they were working for, these massed secretaries? Wow, this guy had some very strange ideas about secretaries, and offices in general.
I wonder if he's ever really been in an office. Maybe he bases his whole conception of modern business on movies made in the 1950's.
The man continued, "My son works here in Troy, but he's a detective. You don't get a lot of crime around here though, maybe the occasional break-in. My son only gets called after it's already happened."
Immediately I imagined an old-school PI in a fedora and trenchcoat, sweeping into a crime scene carrying a little notebook and an angry glare. Guilty secretaries with high heels and short skirts offering him coffee. I suspect that's rather how the father pictured it too.
"Yeah," I said thoughtfully. "It's a pretty quiet town."
The following conversation takes place between Firefly's Shepherd and the First Mate, as they both are picking up multiple weapons in preparation for a rescue mission. He loads a gun menacingly.
"Preacher, don't the bible have some pretty specific things to say on the subject of killin'?"
"Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."