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All thoughts of curtain rods vanished

CAN you tell me where your brass curtain rods are?'' I asked the clerk. ``Past the Yamaha man, down toward Rugs and over to the left.''

``Past the Yamaha man?''

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``The Yamaha man,'' she repeated.

``Hmm,'' I said, wondering what motorcycles were doing on the second floor of Sears. I strolled down the aisle in search of curtain rods, anticipating the roar of revving engines but hearing only the faint refrain of what sounded like ``A Bicycle Built for Two.''

And then I saw him. The Yamaha man. He was giving a demonstration. All thoughts of brass curtain rods vanished. I knew there was only one thing I needed at Sears, and it was right here.

The Yamaha man smiled and beckoned as I approached. The electronic keyboard that he demonstrated was so simple a child could play it. With the push of a button, the beat was tango, waltz, bossa nova. Organ, piccolo, trumpet, violin, piano, harpsichord, guitar -- it was all of these, and more. With the help of a simple instruction booklet, you could soon be sounding like Liberace, Louis Armstrong, Tony Mottola!

With the push of another button, the keyboard could be programmed like a player piano. I was flabbergasted.

And then it happened. The Yamaha man jumped from his seat at the keyboard, extended his arms toward me as if I were Cinderella at the ball and he were the prince, and we began to waltz. We twirled and whirled, he in his psychedelic paisley shirt and I in my jeans and turtleneck, the housewife and the Yamaha man.

The music stopped and he handed me a business card with the price of the keyboard on the back. ``It's on sale all week,'' he said.

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I left the store on cloud nine, thinking that nothing like this ever happened at the supermarket, and marveling at the automatic, electronic keyboard. I completely forgot about the brass curtain rods.

At dinner, I told my husband how I'd waltzed at Sears with the Yamaha man, as a preamble to hinting what a wonderful gift the keyboard would make for his wife. He looked at me funny and suggested that I shop Macy's

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