The salt spray of the ocean was invigorating but the old man could feel nothing. His gaze was distant, as if in deep thought.
"What are you thinking about, granpa?" asked the boy.
"Oh nothing, son. Just where am I going to find a woman who wears suspenders?"
"Suspenders? Well, there's Miss Smith down town. She likes to dress up all man-like. They say she's a Lisboan or something. What's that mean, Granpa?"
"Lisboan? Maybe she's from Portugal. But that doesn't matter, son. I need you to do me a favor"
"Anything for you, granpa" said the boy, sincerely. For did he not owe his entire life to the old man? Was it not his duty to unquestioningly do his bidding?
"Alright, then. I need you to go to Miss Smith's house and steal her suspenders. Just one pair"
That sounded simple enough. The boy had grown up in a hard school where nimble fingers and enterprise were the often the only way out of a hungry night. He wasn't a thief really, but a man has got to live.
"But why do you need that, granpa?" he asked. For he knew that the old man never did anything without a reason.
"Oh, it's kind of complicated, but I'll tell you", he said.
Lighting up his pipe, the old man sat down on the bench and started speaking in that soft voice of his.
"You know how smart the fish are around here. They smell our gear and run away."
"Yes, yes!" interrupted the boy, excitedly. "I've seen you washing everything with detergent"
"You're clever and observant, little one!" chuckled the old man, pleased. "And you would no doubt have noticed what brand of detergent I use"
"Surf! You always buy Surf!"
"Yes, my lad. Surf is the only one which gets the strong smell of dead fish out of them. The others don't realize all this, which is why they catch so little"
"But what's with the suspender bands? And why do I need to steal Miss Smith's" asked the boy.
"Persistent old rascal, aren't you?" said the old man, smiling indulgently. "Son, it's an outside chance but one that will, if it succeeds, deliver us from our poverty"
The boy was smart. He understood all of that at one go.
"And?" asked the boy
The old man spoke again.
"Well, I've heard it said that a broad's bands will help us Surf the nets much better".