“A gentleman anymore,” says Fred. “I’m just another soda jerk, out of a job. Now, go sit down, read a magazine, or listen to the radio, while I cook the soup. ” Fred gets a can opener out of a drawer. Marie sits in the living room with a magazine.
“I’ll fix you a nice meal, honey,” says Fred. “Just like I used to do behind the fountain, before the war.” Marie slumps in her chair. Fred opens the soup can. Marie carefully peels off her false eyelashes, then stare up at the ceiling.
Later, Fred follows “Sticky” Merkel around Bullard’s drug store. Fred’s taken a job at the store.
“The perfume and cosmetics department is now our outstanding feature,” says Merkel. “It accounts for thirty-four percent of our gross intake, and an even higher percentage of our profits. As you will readily surmise, our customers in this department are almost entirely women.”
“Yes, I’d surmise that,” says Fred. Merkel looks at Fred to see if Fred’s being sarcastic.
“You must familiarize yourself with the correct pronunciation of all our perfumes and toiletries,” continues Merkel. “For instance, here’s a popular number: Reve Romantique.”
“Yeah, that means ‘Romantic Dream,'” explains Fred.
“Do you speak French?” asks Merkel.
“Well,” says Fred, “I’ll tell you, Sticky – just enough to make my way around the Paris bars.”
“Let’s get one thing – ” begins Sticky.