Christine looked into the camera and pasted on her professional persona. “This is Christine Grady and I am here tonight with entrepreneur and philanthropist Fred Smith. Mr. Smith, I understand your path to fame and fortune is a rather unique one. Would you care to share it?”
Fred Smith smiled a goofy smile and checked to make sure the color of his blue polo shirt was down. “It’s sort of a crazy story. It all begins when I was traveling through Kansas. My son, Kurt, wanted to visit Emporia State, so we decided to make it a family vacation. So after checking out the school we decided to look around the area. That’s when I stumbled upon them.”
Christine jumped in with her interviewer’s intuition. “Stumbled upon what?” she asked.
“There was a garage sale and it looked like they were selling some old musical instruments. Well I love collecting musical instruments and making planters and lamps out of them so I stopped the car and checked it out. Found out that this woman, I believe her name was Dorothy had just died and it was actually an estate sale. The whole family poked around. I picked up a coronet and a Suzuki style violin. My son just sat outside and played with some dog. My wife though, she found a pair of the reddest slippers that glittered like they were made of rubies. I thought they were gaudy as hell, but she wanted them.” Fred stopped up short. “Is it okay to say gaudy as hell?” he asked.
“Don’t worry about it,” Christine said. “We can always edit it out in post. So what was so special about the violin?”
Fred laughed. He said, “The violin was a piece of crap. I gave it to some homeless guy in Vegas. No, the slippers were the real find.”
Christine used her profession nod technique. She then probed deeper. “They were made of real rubies?” she asked.
“Don’t know, and I really don’t care,” Fred replied. “You see, those slippers are how I made my fortune.”
Christine decided to fall back on the nod again. “Fascinating,” she said to Fred. She then turned to the camera and said, “We’ll be right back after this commercial break.” She smiled at Fred. “Excuse me for a minute please.”
“Sure,” said Fred.
Christine got up and found the Sarah the director. Sarah could barely contain her mirth. “Really, ruby slippers? You sure this isn’t a homeless guy and you’re pranking me?”
Sarah laughed, but then she got herself under control under the burning gaze of Christine. “Look, he is the real deal. He made a fortune in gold and no one has ever gotten him to talk about it. He said he would only talk to you. This is going great.”
“Going great?” Christine asked. “He sounds like a nut job.”
Sarah looked Christine in the eyes and tried to wipe the smile off her face. “He may be a nut job, but this is your job. The bosses want this interview, and you are the one to do it, so suck it up and do your job, even if he sounds ridiculous.” Christine didn’t look convinced. She placed her hands on her hips and looked like she was about to throw a fit. Sarah continued, “Besides, this guy must have something going for him. He has made billions, and you are his first interview. Treat him like the virgin he is.”
Christine shook her head, then stomped her right foot, but she then spun on that foot and cruised back over to her chair, her professional smile pasted once again on her face. “Thank you again for this opportunity Mr. Smith. May we continue?” Christine asked.
Fred looked like he hadn’t heard a thing. “Sure, that would be awesome, and please call me Fred. I’m not that special.”
“Thank you Fred,” Christine said. Turning back to the camera Christine continued, “We are back with Fred Smith. When we left off you were talking about how a pair of glittering bejeweled red slippers were the key to your fortune. Would you like to explain more?”
To Be Continued….