“Don’t hang up if you want to make a million dollars!”
A huge smile crept over my face as I cradled the cell phone against my cheek. I said nothing and looked across the restaurant table at Ryan. He was emotionless. Michael, interpreting my silence as total and complete interest, continued beyond his attention grabber.
“Everybody chews gum, right? But there are only so many flavors of gum. Everybody likes gourmet, too, right? Why don’t we make some kind of elaborately packaged gourmet gum that comes in flavors like, I don’t know, mint julep or something, and we charge fourteen dollars a pack for it? This is the best idea I’ve had in a long time, and I’m willing to share it with you.”
The pause for consideration was brief.
“No one’s going to pay fourteen dollars for gum, Michael, no matter how awesome the mint julep tastes,” I replied matter-of-factly. Ryan’s face suddenly twisted into a vague mess of confusion and amusement.
“Hi, Michael. Ryan didn’t want to talk to you, so he handed me his phone.”
“Oh. Well, I guess you could make a million dollars too!”
I pulled the phone away from my face, flipped it shut, and returned to my $8 plate of duck.
“If we go in on that gum idea, we could eat like this every day,” I remarked between bites.
Ryan shrugged nonchalantly and turned to look out the window.