BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Calvin Trillin's Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin .
Murray Tepper would say that he is an ordinary New Yorker who is simply trying to read the newspaper in peace. But he reads while sitting behind the wheel of his parked car, and his car always seems to be in a particularly desirable parking spot. Not surprisingly, he is regularly interrupted by drivers who want to know if he is going out.
Tepper isn’t going out. Why not? His explanations tend to be rather literal: the indisputable fact, for instance, that he has twenty minutes left on the meter.
Tepper’s behavior sometimes irritates the people who want his spot. (“Is that where you live? Is that car rent-controlled?”) It also irritates the mayor—Frank Ducavelli, known in tabloid headlines as Il Duce—who sees Murray Tepper as a harbinger of what His Honor always calls “the forces of disorder.”
But once New Yorkers become aware of Tepper, some of them begin to suspect that he knows something they don’t know. And an ever-increasing number of them are willing to line up for the opportunity to sit in his car with him and find out.
Tepper Isn’t Going Out is a wise and witty story of an ordinary man who, perhaps innocently, changes the world around him.
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|Title of eBook: Tepper Isn't Going Out|
|Release Date: 01-15-2002|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Tepper Isn't Going Out|
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Tepper Isn't Going Out
"It's absolutely unconscionable," the young man said loudly, shaking a banana in front of the fruit peddler's face. "It's simply not to be believed. It's unbelievable."
Murray Tepper looked up from his newspaper to see what was happening. Tepper was sitting behind the wheel of a dark blue Chevrolet Malibu that was parked on the uptown side of Forty-third Street, between Fifth and Sixth. Across the street, an argument was going on between an intense young man in a suit and the peddler who set up a stand on Forty-third Street every day to sell apples and bananas and peaches to office workers. Tepper had seen them go at it before. The young man was complaining about the price that the peddler charged for a single banana. The peddler was defending himself in an accent that Tepper couldn't place even by continent. There had been a time when the accents of New York fruit peddlers were dependably ItalianTepper had for years thought of "banana" as a more or less Italian word, in the way that some New Yorkers thought of "aggravation" as a more or less Yiddish wordbut that time had long passed. As the young man in the suit practically pulsated with outrage, the peddler repeated a single phrase over and over again in his mysterious accent. Finally, Tepper was able to figure out what the peddler kept saying: "free-market economy, free-market economy, free-market economy. . . ."
It was six-thirty on a Tuesday evening in May. The air was mild. For ten days, there had been clear skies and spring temperatures, disappointing those New Yorkers who liked to complain every May that the w...