It happened at work.
He came to the fresh bread area, along with his sidekick. We recognized each other immediately. He was older than me. Grey and mostly bald. He nodded at the sale bread (a kind of mild sourdough boule. Price: $2.00) and asked, "How is it?"
"It's good." I replied.
Then he started to make a series of slight head nods, shrugs, eyebrow raises, and hand movements which among my tribe translates roughly as, " So, whadderwe gonna do here, huh? Can we do something here? Hm, huh, whaddya think? What can you do for me."
I responded in kind. My delicate dance of body english replying, "I don't know? We'll see. Let's talk."
His sidekick chuckled.
He motioned with the brown bagged loaf of bread he was already holding in his left hand. It was a fresh loaf of olive bread. Good choice. "I love this bread," he said, "but it costs six bucks."
I indicated the sale breads and said, "Well, you can buy this one, get a jar of olives for 3 bucks, jam the olives into the loaf of bread (I making short, quick jabbing motions with my thumb as I talk, so as to indicate how one should jam olives) and save yourself a dollar."
"I'll take it," he replied.
And that's how we do it in the old country.
Qf course, it wasn't about the price or my moronic idea. It was about the love of the chase. The thrill of the sarcasm blowing through your hair and the attitude pounding through your veins. That's what people misunderstand about the Jews. We're not cheap, we just like to argue.