Tuesday morning Jack came in early to open up at the junkyard, and after he’d made the first pot of coffee he took a mug out to the front steps of the shack and started thinking seriously about what to get Iowa for her birthday. The great day was only a few days off, and he was darned lucky he’d seen the note on Shelley’s calendar the night before, because it somehow hadn’t made it onto his own. There wasn’t time to make any major plans, so he was thrown onto his usual combination of inspiration and necessity.
Josef was even less helpful than usual with all that “prit tikky tik garoof” business. Yes, Iowa was a girl (that’s for sure!) but that didn’t mean she was automatically a pushover for the whole flowers and chocolates routine. Well, she did like chocolates, and a selection of dark creams from Maryannes would be good for the “gosh, you look pretty tonight” part of the present. (Maple, lime, cherry and vanilla creams, no strawberry.) But a birthday needed more than that, and Iowa didn’t like cut flowers; she thought they were a little depressing, actually. And Josef’s idea of a bouquet was sad in ever sense of the word.Josef’s second suggestion was tacos. And that wasn’t bad, but treating your best girl to a mess of tacos was more a “Taco Tuesday special at the Don Pedro” thing than a birthday thing. If Jack was going to collect suggestions, he was going to have to find some people who were a little more creative, and less fixated on food. He just didn’t think Iowa would appreciate a raw roadkill deer, or a huge tub of caramel and cheese popcorn mixed together. Seriously, who would even eat something like that?