There’s a man who comes into my bookstore every Friday to drop off pet-adoption flyers for us to hang in our window. He’s a nice man, elderly, corpulent, and is the apparent owner of a joke-a-day desk calendar because he always has a joke prepared when he comes in.

Most of the jokes are clean, though some of them would be considered by sensitive feminists to be sexist.

We never talk more than five minutes before he leaves. Sometime last month he expressed delight in the results of the presidential election, which surprised me because he’s a war vet and he’s jolly, two things not too common among elderly Democrats.

Something else relevant to know about him is that he is a teacher, as he is fond of so often reminding me (one of the few hints that he’s a Democrat). Except he is not the kind of teacher most liberals fawn over; he teaches remedial driving school for people who were driving drunk, high, etc.

Today, before leaving the store, he bought a war book. The books he usually buys from us (he buys one maybe every other time he’s in here) tend to be historical in nature. And every time he buys from us, he asks for the receipt, upon which he promptly writes, “Taxes 2012 – Book.” And then he looks up at me with a twinkle in his eye and a smile so sly, and says, “I’m gonna write this off on my taxes. I’m a teacher.”