Jack leaned across the table as if he were about to reveal a profound truth or a great hidden secret. “I’ll tell you,” he said, “I like to work with potatoes. There are things you can do with a potato that most people have never dreamed of.”
Barry and Ruth looked at him, and then at each other, and then back at Jack. He had their attention. He pressed on. “Oh, I know, but trust me, I can back up what I say.” He flashed an enigmatic smile and then looked in the direction of a box that sat at the corner of the table. “C’mon, let us out!”
Barry and Ruth were a bit startled, but recovered their composure fairly quickly. “Um, wow, now that’s a first.” Barry was impressed. A different voice emanated from the box this time. “We wanna do our stuff.”
Ruth wasn’t sure what to think. “You mean to tell me…” She trailed off, not quite sure how to express her thought. She looked around the spacious room, decorated in a show biz theme, with circus posters and lots of plush red velvet. A silk top hat sat on a small table near a large window that provided all the light in the room.
“Oh yes, i’m quite serious.” Jack looked at her with supreme confidence. “What’s going on out there, we can’t see a thing!” Jack spoke to the box. “Hold on, you’ll get your chance soon enough.”
He turned his attention back to the couple. “So as I was saying, I really love working with potatoes. I’ve been doing it for five years now, and it’s really quite a good show. I’ll demonstrate in a moment, but I want to stress the uniqueness of this. You won’t find anyone else that can do what I do with these potatoes. I guarantee success in this matter. If the show isn’t everything I say it is, money back. You can’t ask for more that that, can you?”
Barry was deep in thought. Ruth shifted a bit and then tried again. “So, you mean to tell me you your potatoes can not only talk, but they perform as well?”
Jack spread his hands expansively. “My potatoes are a class act all the way. Did I mention I have references? Talk to them, they’ll vouch for me.”
Barry nodded his head. “Well it certainly sounds promising. You realize of course that we’re dealing with a finicky audience here. Some of them have a rather short attention span you know.” He grinned conspiratorially. Ruth gave him a look, but couldn’t hide a slight smile.
She looked thoughtful again. “Hey, your references, they wouldn’t happen to be potatoes, would they?”
They all laughed, but Jack was hoping it really have been meant in jest. “Well, no, but if you’d like some potato references, i’m sure that could be arranged also.”
Ruth addressed the box. “So guys, what have you got to show us?”
“Who was that? Jack! Who you got out there? When are we on? We need to get warmed up you know.”
Jack lifted the lid on the box and spoke into it. “In a minute guys, i’m giving you a nice intro. Be sure and do me proud.”
Turning back to Barry and Ruth he grinned. “They’re getting antsy in there. Are you ready to meet my potatoes?”
Barry gave Ruth and enquiring look and she waved her arm with a flourish. “Certainly, bring on the potato show.”
Jack rubbed his hands together and then lifted the lid from the box and put it aside. He brought out the potatoes one by one and arranged them on a special platform he had set up for the demonstration. Each wore an elaborate costume and wore a tiny nametag. Jack handled each potato lovingly and with pride. He looked at them like they were his children. Ruth was touched.
She smiled at Barry. They wanted only the best, and could afford it, and she was hopeful this would be the unique entertainment they were looking for to make this as special as it could be.
For the next fifteen minutes Jack put on a show that was unlike anything they had ever seen. Each potato possessed a unique personality and spoke in a different voice, and each had its specialty to perform, from a circus strongman to a magician, to a rodeo potato with a Texan accent that really stood out.
Barry was enthralled, and Ruth could hardly contain her delight. When it was over they both gave a standing ovation. Jack, pleased, asked them what the verdict was. “So do you want to go ahead with it? It’s two weeks from Saturday, isn’t it?”
Barry nodded his approval. “Yes, we’d love to engage your services, Jack.”
Ruth beamed her approval. “It’s just the twist we were looking for. A ventriloquist who puts on a show using potatoes. It’s a marvellous show, and perfect for a bunch of five and six year olds. Our son’s birthday party will be the talk of the neighborhood for months.”
Jack bowed with a flourish and showed them to the door. “See you two weeks from Saturday.”