no worries?

Published on: 1/8/2013

I didn't put up a stink or ask for a free one when I had to drive all the way back to Jimmy's Grotto to get a replacement Ponza for the one they got wrong. The first one took half an hour and, even though they were packed by the time I returned, they had the replacement in half that time.

Jimmy's isn't the kind of place you'd expect to run into interesting people, though I'm sure many frequent the place.

I parked next to a Mini Cooper with the plates "HALOWEN" and had to wonder if they're Halloween fans. Walking in I noticed every table full with a couple waiting. Less than an hour before only two or three tables had people at them.

A gray-bearded gentleman's cowboy hat caught my eye before I was able to pick up the replacement. The crown of his hat was encircled by a hatband made of dozens of little human figures similar to this one.

I'd never seen anything like it in all of Waukesha. He said they're worry dolls. I said Peru? He said Guatemala.

"Would you like some? I have a small bag of six of them for you out in the car."

"For me? No, thanks. I know about them. Have you even been to Plowshare just down the street?"

I couldn't talk him out of it, so we proceded out to the Mini which was overflowing with stuff. (Someone had just given him a bunch of antique radio equipment.) Stuff was falling out of the car and he had to rearrange half of it just to get to the glovebox, but he finally produced this:

Evidently, according to legend, if you share one worry with each doll before bed, upon placing the dolls beneath your pillow you will wake in the morning the dolls having taken your worries away.

Such a generous fellow for a perfect stranger. I worry that I didn't have anything to give him in return. I didn't even get his name or give him mine. At least now I'll be able to put those dolls to work.