Frabjous Times

Get your altered carbon!

While I was out last night, someone came up to me and asked me whether I wanted to buy a diamond. "For your wife," he said. I was actually out buying drugs (at the pharmacy, that is), which makes it sound almost as if I'm telling the story backwards with someone offering me drugs when I was out buying jewelry.

The kid was maybe fourteen or so, and I was surprised to think that he could represent someone who had access to diamonds. He represented his merchandise as a "real diamond," making me suspect that it was actually a "not-real diamond." I demurred and hurried into the drugstore.

What was that all about? Are the junior high schools full of young hustlers who are enticing people with promises of an entirely different kind of "rock," of "crystal?" What have they done with my old familiar set of apprehensions?

Originally published: 16-05-2003 22:44:47