After his first summer on the Atlantic City boardwalk, when his friend Bobby declared him an honorary gypsy, seven-year-old Jason has to return to school in the Philadelphia suburbs. In his description later, the boy uses the same epithet his father had used to justify quitting a good accounting job to open a pretzel stand:
I didn’t like the kids at school. On the first day, the teacher had made us stand in front of the class and talk about our summers. The other kids didn’t believe me when I told them about the boardwalk. They didn’t believe I was an honorary gypsy or that I could make a marionette dance. They smirked and chuckled like goddamned idiots.
Miss McCue stood up. “My, my,” she said. “We certainly have one imaginative young man in our class, don’t we?”
“Jason, you may take your seat now.” Indignant, I tromped down the aisle to my desk, ignoring my fellow students’ stares and giggles.