On Charlie's "Benevolence"

    Perhaps the most famous incident of my "benevolence" occurred
in 1994 at a kabob house in Virginia.  I was eating dinner there
with a friend one evening, when I noticed that there was a small child
with the group of people at the table next to us who happened to be
Persian (A lot of people from Iran these days don't call themselves
Iranians -- mainly because if they're not in Iran, they were probably
forced out of the country by Khomeni or his religious goon-squads).

   This child was probably about 5, and everyone else in the group was about
30-35.  No one was really paying attention to the child, and the child was
quite clearly bored.  He looked over at me, and I reached into the pocket of my
overcoat, and produced a black-and-yellow inflatable ball.  I inflated it, and this
kid's eyes must have gotten about as big as the ball -- about six inches
in diameter.  I then handed the ball to the child.  Immediately, the ball
went one way, and the child went after it -- straight under the table, to
the utter annoyance of the adults.  This went on for a while.

    Soon, the child's mother attempted to convince the child to return the ball to me.
"Oh, no," I said, "the ball is his.  He may keep it."  The woman gave me a very genuine
Evil Eye - the Persians invented the Evil Eye -- but the child KNEW he could keep the
ball, in spite of her protests to the contrary.  My friend and I left the restaurant
shortly after the group with the kid.  As we were pulling out of the parking lot, we
noticed that the car ahead of us had a large group of people in it, and we thought it might
be the family with the small child. We couldn't see the child in the car, but we knew he
was in it -- because this six-inch black-and-yellow ball was bouncing around the
interior, off the roof, off the driver's head...