"Mom?" Says Thing 2.
"Yeah," I said, trying to remember what I needed from the store. "A nice man gave me candy while I was walking today."
"From his panel van????" Squeaks Thing 4.
"No, no. From his SUV. It was no big deal. I was walking the dogs in the residential part of the neighborhood and he pulled alongside and said I looked happy from behind. I think that's because I just dyed my hair and it doesn't match my face yet."
"You looked happy?" This was Thing 3.
"Well, uhm. Yes. Anyway, he was old... er... well, his hair was all gray, so maybe ten years older than Dad and I. So not old. Advanced middle age."
"A creepy old man in a panel van said you looked happy?" I have no idea who said this--they all seemed horrified, so I kept talking.
"He was a very sweet suburban guy who apparently goes by his pharmacy once a week and gives out chocolate to say thank you. He didn't have enough so he had to go buy more because he didn't like disappointing people. And he was driving a newish SUV. It was fine. He couldn't have pulled me in through the window--I'm too big."
A sort of numbness has set in. Even Mate has stopped working in the kitchen and is staring at me.
"So he just saw you walking and gave you... chocolate?" he asked.
"Well, yeah. See, his dad had a heart replacement at 82 and lived to be 93 and his takeaway was 'Treat each day as a gift.' And the guy liked to spread that kind of happiness. So, you know. He was trying to be the gift. He wanted to make the world a better place."
"By giving chocolate." This is Thing 4--still horrified.
"I had one," I said. "There doesn't appear to be any hallucinogenic effects. Do you guys want the rest?"
"NO!" They all cry. "Some random stranger in a panel van tells you his life story and gives you drugs and you come home to give them to US???"
"He was a very nice man," I tell them again. "And the chocolate seems fine. And I don't know his life story--he just seemed very happy."
"Because he gave you drugged chocolate."
"Well, maybe it's Prozac. I mean, aren't most of us on that anyway?"
Whatever. I just woke up from my nap and I'm in the mood for sweets and there are ten more Hershey's kisses on a bag on my coffee table. Go me!