I saw a co-worker and his wife in a social setting. The man turned to his wife, “Tell Jeff the story you told me.”
Her face lit up as if she remembered something important. She began a story from the high school cafeteria where my kids went.
She told me about a young man who doesn’t “fit in”. She said the student being picked on wasn’t popular, struggles in school, and in all reality, is not very socially skilled. By all accounts, he’s a little odd. Add it up, and he’s an easy target.
The young man’s primary defense mechanism is to blend in like a social chameleon, then avoid others. That’s impossible during school days when he would unwilling become the center of attention. He’d shrink alone, virtually defenseless, and silently absorb any words, jokes or laughter directed his way. Continue reading The Other Table
Saturday week ago we were on family vacation at Surfside Beach, Texas. We rented a 5 bedroom beach house that sleeps 30. That’s a lot, but if everyone was there, 28 would be piled in … at least until the next grandchild is born in October.
On the verge of cocky, we guys planned a fish fry (fish we hadn’t yet caught) Saturday night for the 18 of us there. Thank goodness it wasn’t on the keepers I caught. Gandhi ate more than that!
We fished off the jetties the first day, and my sons locked into a dozen or so speckled sea trout. They just quietly grinned like cats at a dairy farm every time I reeled in a small fish.
In the end though, we had more than enough fish.
We ate and ate, but cooked way too much. (That’s what you get when five men cook a meal.) Continue reading Catching Men With Fish
True story — It was Thanksgiving Day and he got up ready for a day of family, feasting and football, but something was bugging him. He couldn’t get a co-worker who had been in the hospital and hadn’t worked for a month off his mind.
A crazy idea kept bouncing like a rubber ball in his head. He kept feeling like he was supposed to buy bags of groceries, including a turkey and all the trimmings, for the man and his family.
He dismissed it several times, but couldn’t shake the thought. A little later, the man’s wife needed something at the last-minute from the grocery store, so he loaded up two of his young sons to go with him.
At the store the thought was stronger than ever, so he grabbed a buggy and started filling it with canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, a turkey, milk, flour, eggs, the whole works. When his sons asked why he was getting so much, he told them they were about to give the food to someone. Continue reading No Logical Answer
It was a short run into the grocery store before work for a few apples and coffee creamer, but the only checkout line was long, too long.
The lady at the front of the line was an elderly lady and the bagger said something I couldn’t understand, then walked out with her to put her groceries in her car. The next person checked out and was on the way out when the bagger returned.
The man bagging was probably 65 years old and had a round face with sharp features and a big pleasant smile. The lady in front of me checked out ten or twelve items and the man’s face seemed locked into a smile. He’d grab a couple of items, glance at the checker and customer, as if searching for something in their faces, and then bag the next items.
After the lady paid, the man handed her grocery bags to her and said something, but again, I didn’t understand him. She smiled, spoke back to him and he laughed out loud beaming a huge smile.
I wasn’t paying attention when the checker checked me out. I swiped my card, spoke to the checker and turned to grab the plastic sack from the bagger. I caught a glimpse of his hearing aids just as he said in garbled words like someone severely deaf….at least I think he said, “I love eat apples! And coffee!” Continue reading Smiling Eyes
I just wanted a smoothie, that’s all! A simple smoothie, in and out, no big deal.
Last week two college girls were working the Smoothie King counter. After staring mindlessly at the order board, I finally asked what the best tasting, healthiest smoothie was.
She immediately said her favorite smoothie was loaded with vitamins, fruit and called the Pre-Mama.
She was right! It was great!
Friday two college guys were working. They were polar opposites. One was huge and tall; the other short and small, leprochaun size really. I wanted to catch the hyper little guy and demand he take me to his hidden a pot of gold!
A lady was ordering in front of me. The big guy taking her order had on a T-shirt at least a size too small, plus he had no, absolutely zero, enthusiasm. Undertakers at funerals have more enthusiasm! Continue reading Mama of King Smoothie
It started with well meaning insults. I called him Fat Lard — he asked when my baby was due. It wouldn’t have mattered much except we were at work having cake and ice cream for a co-worker’s birthday.
I fell for it when he asked if I was losing weight. “I don’t think so”, I said suspiciously wiping ice cream from the corner of my mouth. “I don’t think so either!!” he proudly rebuffed. That made the guy sitting between us laugh so hard ice cream came out his nose.
Another co-worker, a skinny, hard belly, in shape little snot, talked about how we ought to come build fence with him over the weekend so we’d lose weight. He smiled as big as a con man at a senior citizen’s home when he proclaimed he wouldn’t even charge us a gym fee. We both ignored the loudmouth and chalked up his demeanor and hard stomach to a bad case of pin worms. Continue reading Lunch Time Workout
His frail fingers trembled as he took the nickel from the missionary’s hand. The starving Haitian boy was wearing a pair of ragged shorts, threadbare t-shirt, and shoes that had worn out months before.
During the peak of the famine, homeless children and orphans looked for any way they could to survive. If they could get a nickel, they could get enough scraps of food to live another day.
So when the missionary was walking on a road in Haiti and came across the sickly orphan boy sitting listlessly on the roadside, he gave the boy a nickel. Continue reading When Did I See You Hungry?
While pushing a grocery buggy with a squeaky, lop-sided wheel through the store, a happy dance suddenly rises from the marrow of my bones. Blue Bell’s on sale!
Feeling tears of joy well up in my eyes, I stand hopelessly in front of the double glass doors completely mesmerized by the gold and brown rim half gallons of ice cream. Salivating like Pavlov’s dog, I narrow in on Southern Blackberry Cobbler, but just before I reach for it, I see Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough out of my peripheral vision, and there’s Moo-Llennium Crunch above that!
Those made me second guess myself, and fight, and I mean fight, to walk away from it all like a good boy should. But like a fly caught in a spider’s web, both feet stick to the floor as people pass me on both sides of the aisle. Continue reading Blue Bell Blues