Sunday, June 26, 2011


While I do not have a demeanor that you would remotely consider the bragging type, I must confess to you in private that I am a virtual bouquet of knowledge which I would like to share with you.

For instance take myself as an example. The good Lord has allowed me to experience seventy-four B’days. What can we attribute to my reaching the golden age of 74 other than His blessing. Quite simply, I have been able to outrun and dodge all the bullets that have been aimed in my direction.

Some would say that 74 and antiquity have a great deal in common, but I don’t know about that. At that ripe ole age I feel extremely full of vim and vigor. I purposely left the vitality part out, because one never knows the diseases one is subject to.

I am looking forward to my seventy-fifth birthday because you never know what someone might leave under the tree. ( --“No, you are now showing your age, as the tree format is for Christmas!”-- )

With the progression of age there are words that take on a whole new meaning and occupy a special place in your vocabulary. Those words are control, flaccid and longevity. I leave it there without further explanation as this subject matter could easily lead to an embarrassing situation for us both.

As we progress in age we seem to lose something else along the way.

A loss that is not at all that disappointing.

Rather than having a bad day with our complaints filling most it.

We find that maturity brings continual good days and a minimal amount of complaints.

I guess those occasional “blue days” that the younger folks experience, can be attributed to the constant pressure they are forced to live with during their working lives.

There is an inverse proportion here.

In that I love inverse proportions and even more my image, I will state it for you, for I refuse to relinquish to another my advanced technological intellect. “As Age Goes North, - Complaints Go South.”

This is better known as the first law of Cornell.

Also, as we advance in years we are more subject to disease as has been previously mentioned. One of the diseases that can infect our bodies is melancholyitis. This particular disease is generally not serious and can be tied directly to the subject matter above.

However, if the disease racks the body with warnings of severity, the infected may lie on the couch in front of the TV and issue words similar to this, “ I don’t care if there is a spider in the sugar bowl, I am watching American Idol.”

Which reminds me of a saying someone once told me “ Maturity brings with it character and wisdom, but frankly I’d rather have cute buns.” I am under the assumption that that someone was my wife of many years.

In the process of growing older there is a multitude of sitting involved, particularly on the back porch.

And there are many wild birds to watch. We have a bird feeder in the back yard which has become the bird’s favorite hangout. We also have three bird houses.

I was watching the birds feeding one day with a great deal of enjoyment.

This one little bird had a feast at the feeder and after she had finished, flew to each birdhouse and inspected them thoroughly to see if the space requirements met with her approval.

She projected the image of someone inspecting a house before they either rent or purchase it. And their occupancy was free!

Reflecting on life in a rather serious vein. If the subject who is growing older, views life as a repetitive episode then he/she is doomed.

We should view life as an adventure and ask ourselves what can I discover today that is totally new to me?

As a world-renowned philosopher once said “The greatest day of your life is tomorrow.”

Finally, in concluding this piece we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Tai Chi. For those unsuspecting and unknowledgeable folk, the Tai Chi is an exercise for older people [unless pursued as a martial art]. For those unknowledgeable we share something in common.

I was asked to do the Tia Chi which I thought was a dance.

I was so filled with enthusiasm, looking forward to that dance that my enthusiasm spread to the boards of the house. The whole house began to shake. Yes, that enthusiasm was contagious.

In preparation for our dance I even took a shower and atomized some sweet smelling stuff onto my face.

Perhaps the biggest “let down” of my life was when Webster informed my curiosity that the Tai Chi was an exercise for the older.

O.K. then let us face reality. I will breath deeply and swing my arms “to and fro” with a small amount of trepidation and perform the exercises, but I refuse to wear those silly looking bloomers.

The Tia Chi will be the contributing factor that will greatly increase my longevity similar to the Scarsdale diet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


My introduction to flight was through a client that invited me to take a jaunt in her plane. I really didn’t know her that well, but to me the invitation was quite an honor. I was greatly impressed that this individual had an airplane, as her business resembled one that could go into the “dumper” at any moment. If the total truth be known, I was downright flabbergasted.

She said, “Meet me at XXX airport, next Friday at 2:00PM and we will discover what the skies look like up close.”

Upon returning home I informed my wife that next Friday “I had to meet Joy at XXX for a joy-ride.” After she gave me the most disgusting and inquisitive expressions she has ever given me, I proceeded to both explain and prepare to dodge the onslaught of pots and pans I knew was coming.

Joy was a regular customer who had showered me with her business, but other than that there was no feeling for each one another, other than friendship. But, my wife didn’t know that. Any attraction or magnetic appeal between Joy and me was, strictly speaking, out of the question. Besides that, she probably refers to me as “that scrawny kid with hives and whatever else is highly infectious.”

Also, I wanted to discover the location of XXX airport, for believe it or not, that is its real name. This is highly confusing when a girl receives a love letter from her boyfriend that ends with meet you at XXX. She doesn’t know whether the X’s represent kisses and he forgot to mention their meeting place or vice-versa. I surely did not want to be late for this “excursion into the sky,” so I made the adequate preparations and it’s always been my philosophy, the person into whose hands you place your life, you never want the least bit upset at you.

The next Friday approached, and at 2:00PM I was where I was supposed to be. For some reason, Joy was not there. I cogitated about what had caused her delay. As there are many cars traveling the highways on Friday, they can aggregately create traffic congestion. So I concluded, that Joy must have gotten “tied up” in Friday’s rush hour.

A question I have always had that perhaps you can answer, why do they call it rush hour when the cars only move at 5-10MPH speeds? As that question was slightly off the subject, we will return to the story, and my brief respite.

This pause gave me the opportunity to survey the planes that were lined up along the side of the tarmac. There were Lear Jets, Meyers, Piper J-3’s and PA-11’s and helicopters, all individually owned and all in great condition except this one little red airplane. This little plane resembled military aircraft. It gave you the distinct impression that it had been in all theaters of war during WWII and was the recipient of several purple hearts.

The little red plane was banged and dented almost beyond imagination and recognition.

My curiosity got the best of me and I began to more closely run a visual inspection of that little plane. I shortly discovered that in addition to the bangs and dents this little red plane was held together with baling wire.

I began to ask the Lord to not only forgive me for my many sins, but also, that this little, dilapidated plane didn’t belong to Joy.

Then a bolt of inspiration hit me. Joy had not seen me, so I could always tell her that I got sick or that my grandmother died.

Which leads to another story about an employee telling me his grandmother died, only she died three times! And for some reason, this moribund event always occurred on Friday, right after the employee was paid. End of employee, and back to the story about the little red plane.

I began to feel my legs gravitate toward my car. At that precise moment I felt a polite “tap” on my shoulder combined with “I am sorry I’m late, but I got tied up in Friday afternoon’s traffic and have the ticket to prove it.” Right then and there, I began to worry about Joy’s coordination.

We began our walk by all those stellar airplanes. At this time I didn’t know which airplane was Joy’s, so our walk closely resembled “the last mile.”

Could it be this nice Piper. -no--SLUSH-SLOP!! I don’t know whether I mentioned it, but it had rained the day before and the ground was quite damp.

Then, could it be this nice Lear Jet --no--SLUSH-SLOP!! What about it being this equally nice Meyers--no--SLUSH-SLOP!!

Joy finally said “well we are home.” And you guessed correctly, if you said, “And there I stood, face to face with the little red plane.”

We both got in and fastened our seat belts ( me-as tight as it would go!) and proceeded to taxi and take-off.

We climbed to an altitude of 12000 feet, with a view of the mountains and sea that you wouldn’t believe (during which time, I was offering the Lord my rosary beads in case the baling wire didn’t hold).

The view from 12000 feet is awe-inspiring, but to me everything else was frightening. I am a seasoned ladder user, and am afraid of heights, in fact,I am such an experienced ladder person that I have painted my house one time. During my house painting experience, I felt the view from 24 feet was too high so you can imagine what the view from 12000 feet did to me.

Unfortunately, I had failed to take my fear of heights into consideration when I accepted the aviation ride with Joy.

Then came the time that Joy had to prove to somebody she was an accomplished pilot.

She proceeded to enter a nose dive that would take us to 9000 feet and I proceeded to enter the sanctum commonly referred to as “losing your lunch.” The “lunch” did not wind up on the floor, as I found a convenient regurgitation bag.

All this time Joy was talking to somebody on her radio with them talking back in a secret code. ( At least that is what it appeared to be to the lay person - me!!)

Being in the dive only one word would come to mind, parachute. I also speculated, that if somehow I ended up falling in space, the two balloons I had in my pocket might prove to be a very worthwhile purchase.

Brother, at that time, I was petrified!!

Joy was successful in her nose dive to 9000 feet, although a part of me will always remain at 12000 feet.

We then descended and landed the little red plane, without incident. Was I ever elated about the “without incident” part.

Applauding her once-questioned coordination and thanking her for her time and the ride in the little plane, I went merrily on my way back to the house with an experience that was now past ( whew!! ) and part of my legacy which I have no intent of passing onto the next generation.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


We were excited about being invited to such a lavish event.

The fact that we were attending propelled us several steps up society’s ladder. We had the feeling of importance, and we must not allow any self-generated spectacle to occur tonight.

We dressed for the event for which we had both taken a shower. I had even additionally shaved and cut my toe nails. This was a very important event in our lives.

“Isn’t that dress too short?” I said. “If you wear it, you will certainly be the center of attention at the ball. It greatly oversteps the bounds of moderation.”

“Yes, I agree with you,” said my wife Jill. “But, Hank, it’s in style.”

“You mean you are committed to wear a piece of cloth that barely covers your panties, and gives the impression that you married me for much more than my money, just because it’s in style!”

“Well Hank, I have studied the most recent fashion magazines and this short dress has their approval.”

“That garment may have their approval. but it certainly doesn’t have mine. Please, with loads of sugar on it , do not wear that dress to the most important social event of the year.”

I was greatly surprised when she replied “Okay, do you think this will be appropriate?” Jill tried on a dress that both she and I thought was very stylish and the hemline only came halfway up her thighs. The dress was slightly revealing, but elegant.

“That is a wear,” I replied, and off we went to the society event of the year.

I felt very good about avoiding the argument that I felt sure was going to take place. When we got to the ball we were immediately seated next to two very cordial people we had never met. We engaged them in small talk before Jill asked them what they did professionally. When he replied “As little as possible,” I felt that the man in their household was a joker.

No, he was an accountant with his own firm and she was a housewife. They excused themselves to go to the restroom which gave us the opportunity to look around the room.

I was dumbfounded by what I saw.

All of the women were wearing the type of short dresses that I thought my wife shouldn’t wear.

They emulated style, I guess, and much revelation of their previously clothed bodies. Don’t misunderstand me, the revelation aspect of their new-found style was fully acceptable with me although it was also very unsophisticated.

I felt that the issue would transform into an argument as soon as we returned home. With this in mind, we decided to dance in that the couple who left for the restroom had not returned. On top of that we both drank some wine, which was very appropriate for me for only I knew what the future held. In fact, I had several glasses of wine which placed me in the category of being rather “tipsy.”

I was going to get Jill another glass of wine when I stumbled and bumped into the non-alcoholic punch bowl. It went sailing across the dance floor and crashed into the bandstand. On its journey the vast majority of the non-alcoholic liquid was lost on the dance floor.

I had managed to make the spectacle that I was trying to avoid, a reality.

We finally excused ourselves, now that dancing had been suspended for the evening and began that humiliating drive home. There would be no more dancing, stumbling and the drinking of wine that night.

We discussed the pros and cons and finally decided that Jill would drive home.

I was very surprised for the second time that evening when there was no argument.

In closing let me relate to you what I think of style. Well, first of all it sells many clothes and secondly there was the issue of the turtleneck sweater.

One Christmas Eve I wore a turtleneck sweater to a party. When we got home and were fully rested, Jill made me throw the sweater in the trash. Her reasoning was that the sweater, although good looking, was not in style. Two years later turtleneck sweaters came back in style.

So, we had to go out and buy a new turtleneck sweater which really didn’t look as good as the old one.

Also I have banners pasted on the walls of our home which read simply S.S. I tell Jill that those two letters are the acronym for Somebody Special which is the name of my gift shop. Truth is, that isn’t the meaning at all.

S.S. really stands for “Style Sucks.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Dreaded

The toll-free number on the instruction guide was dialed to rectify a problem that either I or my “labor saving” device was experiencing. I could feel my knees weaken as I sank to the floor and assume the profile of one who is praying.

“ Please God don’t make me be forced to calculate numbers, may I speak to a human and may I understand what that human is saying.”

Apparently this split-second request was slow in arriving as once again I was subjected to a virtual bouquet of numbers. After being greeted by a cute sounding woman, who was actually just another computer, the statement was made that they had just redesigned their menu so I would need to listen closely.

(I immediately thought how lucky I was to have purchased an item from such an innovative company, as that was a phrase totally new to my ears.)

That statement was followed by the question that if I needed to hear the message in English, I should press 1. (Hey wait a minute!! This is America and over a million Americans have sacrificed their lives just so that I could speak English freely in America. But, that is another debatable subject.)

The operator further stated that if I knew the extension of a person, to dial it immediately. Now, I ask you, how is it possible to know the extension of someone when you don’t even know their name? Nonetheless, “she” forged ahead with another statement that for customer service the caller should press #1 -- and the numbers went on.

Finally, we arrived at #6, which I was to press for technical assistance and the opportunity to speak with a consultant. My enthusiasm was slightly increased as I pressed 6, but this ascension hit the proverbial brick wall when the technical consultant uttered her first words.

Now, I have not been granted a license to ridicule the ethnic origin of another, except when it comes time to seek technical assistance. But, since we’re attacking another’s deficiency, mine is a strong inability to understand those who have graduated at the top of their class in voice instructions.

In other words, I have difficulty understanding clear English.

Nevertheless, regressing to the consultant, her first words to me were, “Sahib, could I have your telephone number beginning with your code.” Right then I knew I should hang up, because the remaining time spent would be a waste.

After adjusting to being addressed as master (I am pretty sure that’s what sahib means in English, but on the other hand, it could be a very derogatory way of addressing a person in India), we proceeded to attempt a rectification of the problem.

Following her directions, with only 11 “Excuse me’s,” 21 “I beg your pardon’s,” 16 “Would you please repeat’s” and a few “Uh’s” thrown in for good measure, we managed to place the widget where it was supposed to be. Much to my surprise the device resumed its normal function.

My faith in God and technical service had been restored.

Shortly I resumed my function, with the device performing as it was intended. I was smiling, waving at the neighbors and completing the work, when suddenly the device stopped. As hard as I tried to re-start by repositioning the widget, the more tenacious the machine was not to start.

Upon my utterance of a few choice words and the continued failure of the labor-saving device, I was painfully aware that there remained only one option opened to me. And that was, to once more endure the 1-2-3’s.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ah! To Be Loved Again!

I found myself in an awkward position after a night’s sleep that was full of tossing and turning. I was face to face with my bowl of Rice Krispies!

The snap and krackle from the Krispies came through loud and clear, but I never could hear the pop. I definitely was not delusional nor paranoid, but never hearing that pop made me quite upset. My suspicion abounded as to whether my not hearing the pop was related to my bad personality. Incidentally, of the snap, krackle and pop, the pop has the highest decibel rating and thus should be heard better. Whether you knew that or not or even care about the decibel rating of the pop is of secondary importance at this moment.

Now, a fixation has totally engulfed me about how my bad personality blended with the purpose of life. I have concluded that in general my life is screwed up, bad personality and all. What was the answer to my problem?

Improvement in my personality was one very obvious choice but that would be a very difficult task. I could obtain the input of my friends as to what they truly think about my personality and character and analyze their opinions.

Or I could do the easiest of the three options which is to commit suicide. In that I am not a particularly aggressive individual, the third option seemed to me to be the most appealing. Besides that, preparations had already begun for commencement of the third option as I had been eyeballing the bottle of cyanide that was under the kitchen sink.

“Oh life! I am so inexperienced at everything, I don’t even know the best method to use to commit suicide. In that I have not heard anything on the news about suicide deaths related to cyanide recently, I guess that cyanide is losing popularity,” I thought. “Then again, cyanide may have deleterious side effects.”

Being an inventive person, I decided to pour cyanide from that bottle that held it into my Rice Krispies. I was about to begin when a question struck me and caused me to temporarily abort the process. “Fiber, fiber - does cyanide have enough fiber to support my good health?” I looked and looked, but could not find an ingredients label on the bottle.

This unpleasant discovery caused me to permanently abort the process and select another option. “Well, I guess I’ll have to go with the second option and seek the opinion of my friends as to just what they think of me.”

My first inclination was to call my very good friends and set up a time to meet with them, but in that they are mostly airheads, their opinion of me wouldn’t mean very much. “I know, I’ll call my ex-girl friends because they are very intelligent and objective - It is that group that will give me the most honest and forthright opinion of myself. And in that we are no longer attached to me they should give a completely objective opinion.”

There was the question of would they be nice to me now that I have broken up with them. Actually, both of them broke up with me, I guess due to my bad personality. “I’ll call Nan first as she is the most reliable and forthright.” The phone call was made to Nan who surprisingly took my call. As an additional surprise, she also was very cordial. After we conversed about the generalities, I told her what I needed, and asked her to meet me at the local coffee shop where we could talk and I could buy her a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee with a girl that I hadn’t seen in over two years.

Let me tell you, I was ecstatic. In preparation for our meeting I begrudgingly shaved, took a shower which I had been avoiding for three days and put on some sweet smelling stuff.

I made it to my car and headed straight for Nan’s house. We had made the quasi-date for July 3. And I was to pick her up at 3. Everything went well until we arrived at the coffee shop.

The coffee shop was very busy as all of the tables were occupied, and the stools at the counter make us both dizzy. We discussed our choices and finally opted to occupy the stools. Sitting on the stools made me very dizzy which in turn made me sick to my stomach. The long and short of this scenario was that I barfed on a napkin which had been emblazoned with the Declaration of Independence.

Even before Nan and I could establish a dialogue, I had made a spectacle of myself. I felt truly embarrassed and very unpatriotic as I had just desecrated the Declaration of Independence. Nevertheless, I returned from the restroom to the stools to commence a conversation with Nan. No longer did I feel sick.

Our overall patriotism was strengthened by the paper cups that our coffee came in. Those cups were emblazoned with an American flag with thirteen stars which represented the original thirteen states. And to further bolster our patriotism, the cook was humming the “Star Spangled Banner.” That coffee shop was really into the celebration of the 4th.

My first question to Nan was, “Are you going to a parade tomorrow?”

Her negative reply left me very confused and full of anticipation. She was either between boyfriends or she no longer had any interest.

However, I could tell by the look in her eyes that the second condition did not exist.

After discussing several uneventful and obscure events, I finally found the nerve to ask Nan what she honestly thought of me. After pondering my question for what seemed like an eternity, she answered.

“Well, first of all I’ll list the positive traits. You have a great personality, secondly you seem to have a good head on you shoulders and you are a good provider. Now, for the negatives. You are somewhat self-centered, a teensy bit narcissistic and very imaginative about bad events taking place. You also are very delusional bordering on paranoia.”

“ Thank you, Nan, for your rather forthright answer about my characteristics,” I replied. “Your honesty is always appreciated - now I have another question for you. Would you accompany me to a local Fourth of July parade tomorrow?”

She thought about that question for about as long as she did when she formed an opinion of me. Her answer was No.

“You see Greg, my boyfriend, is away for the holidays and if he found out that I went to a parade with a former boyfriend, well, he’d be greatly disappointed.”

I did so much appreciate talking with her, but I had to get on with my life. Her reply about the parade brought a feeling of rejection.

So I paid for the coffee and took Nan home.

In that it wasn’t far between the coffee shop and Nan’s house, I returned to the former location.

And that left Barbara, with whom I had lived. Over that time we had become intimate buddies.

I gave her a call from the coffee shop and she was also very cordial. She said “Yes, when and where shall we meet?”

I replied, at our coffee shop, ASAIIC. Which is the acronym for, As Soon As It Is Convenient.

Barely finishing my cup of coffee, Barbara pulled up in a new, red sports car. (Barb was always a punctual showoff.)

As soon as I exited the door to meet her she displayed additional showmanship by honking the horn and waving at me.

We were at the stools again, and I didn’t get sick this time, although my head spun like a revolving door.

We discussed her favorite subject, politics. As we concluded our political discussion I purposely directed our conversation to local events, hoping that would garner a more favorable answer. From there I took our conversation to “Barb, I am preparing a resumé for a local establishment for whom I may work, and I was wondering if you would help me. What exactly do you think of me?”

Her reply came almost instantaneously. “Greg, I think your biggest asset is your pleasing personality. Secondly, you make a very good appearance bordering on handsomeness and you are a great conversationalist. You also are slightly hypochondriacally inclined and a definite candidate for OCD.”

Somehow, I liked her answer better than Nan’s. However, both of the girls said I had a pleasing personality which is a code for the fact that I am either ugly or greatly mistaken about my personality. The fact that I am ugly is something I’ll just have to live with as right now I was more interested in Barbara.

“Barb, will you go to the local 4th of July parade with me?” I said. “If you say yes, we can eat nachos on our break and have some cotton candy which we can attempt to balance on our noses. I’ll even make the investment of treating you to a soft drink.”

As much as I felt my independence was a gift from above, I desperately needed the companionship of a woman. Not the intimate type of companionship, but rather I just needed a woman to talk with. I was not responsible for what would happen after our meeting.

Her enthusiastic reply in the affirmative strengthened my enthusiasm and surprisingly, gave me a victorious feeling. This feeling instilled a chilling sensation throughout my body.

Well, we went to the parade and had a great time exploring each other’s minds. True, I haven’t seen Barbara in over a year now as I now take my commands from Kathy, who is my “main squeeze.” But, I shall never forget the forthright opinions of Nan and Barb.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Coffee Shop Love

It was raining cats and dogs and I needed a warm, dry place that would enable me to rest. I desperately needed to get out of this mess that Mother Nature had provided.
As luck goes there is the bad, good and average varieties. I vividly remember having good luck. But, recently mine had been so bad that average luck was beginning to look pretty good. The downturn in the economy had caused me to lose my job, house and girlfriend in that order.
The search began of my pockets for anything that might resemble money and discovered that I was down to $5.00. Yes, only $5.00 to my name plus the hole I had also discovered in my right front pocket.
That brought forth a dilemma for me. I must make a decision as to what should be my last remaining investment for a while.
I could invest in stocks, but the brokerage fee would be at least $50.00 to 60.00, and besides my $5.00 would not garner very many shares, so that idea was eliminated. On the other hand, I could flag down a taxi-cab and ride around for $5.00 worth, however that also wouldn’t get me out of the rain for very long. Finally, I decided to purchase a cup of coffee at the local eatery-coffee shop to think about my remaining options.
As I entered the coffee shop I was pleasantly surprised to find the environment so well designed. As an additional bonus, it was warm and dry!
Wanting to display what little bit of sophistication and confidence that I had left, I swaggered boldly up to the counter to order a cup of jo. But, I found much to my dismay that I had to make further decisions which, as you have probably concluded by now, I literally detest.
The person behind the counter said, “Will that be a flavored or unflavored latte and do you prefer any degree of sweetening in your latte? What temperature would you prefer your drink to be? Or perhaps you would enjoy a peppermint mocha!”
“Gee whiz,” I thought to myself, “All I wanted was your common variety run of the mill cup of coffee when I entered this establishment. But, now I even must select the country from which the beans come!”
After what seemed like hours of deliberation, I finally decided upon a flavored latte. As it was Christmas time, I also selected peppermint as my flavor.
“That will be ready in just a few moments and that will be a total of $4.12.” Upon the emission of those words by the cashier, cancellation of my order was all that could come to my mind. But, in that I saw that my drink was already being prepared I quickly realized it was too late for that. I settled for the next best choice which was to become psychologically floored. After recovering from the ensuing shock, it was with hesitation that I gave her my last $5.00 and by my astute mathematical calculations I concluded that I only had $.88 to get me to where ever it was guaranteed to be continually warm and dry.
As I was once told by someone, “Everything bad that occurs in your life has some good in it if you search enough.” After a rather through search I did discover the good. My remaining monetary wealth would render me with no more decisions!
The barista, also behind the counter, barked out like my former drill sergeant, that a peppermint latte was ready for Jim. The girl who took my order ask me what my first name was and I naturally thought that her question was motivated by the fact that she found me interesting, but how in the world could anyone be interesting with only $.88 left to their name. No, she didn’t find me interesting, and I came back to earth to realize that I was only a viable commercial tool.
Well, at least I was now armed with my latte (which is French for coffee) as I entered the community of coffee drinkers. I immediately discovered that all of us in that room had one very important thing in common. We were all drinking coffee.
As I told you, I was tired and so I sought the largest and softest chair in the house. I found that very chair, and it was unoccupied. So, realizing that status, I rushed toward the chair hopefully without drawing anyone’s attention.
Turns out that I was not the only one that had an eye on that chair as there was a girl rushing for the same chair.The brutal fact was that somehow we collided. Our collision caused us both to be occupying the same chair staring at the ceiling. It also caused us to both spill our drinks which were replaced free of charge, after we signed a waiver, by the management. Actually, I was in the chair and she was sitting on my lap.
For a moment we just sat there collecting our thoughts and she finally broke the rather uncomfortable silence with “My name is Kim, what is yours?” I replied “I’m Jim, but I only have 88 cents left to my name.”
She totally misunderstood me for she thought I said, “But, my other name is 88 cent.”
“I am glad that we met,” I said, “But, I apologize for the method we used.” “Oh God! I am so glad to finally meet you,” she replied, “I have your records everywhere! May I have your autograph?” A request that was gladly fulfilled. I simply signed her coffee container, Mr. 88 cent.
“Here I am sitting on the lap of a world famous artist who I greatly admire,” she stated. “And by the way your apology is accepted Mr. 88 cent.” I wanted to tell her she was confused and that it was the word 50 that she was seeking, but in that I had spent a year singing in the church choir when I was in the third grade and occasionally played the harmonica, I recanted. Nor did I feel guilt that I was misleading her as it was a matter of assumption on her part. Besides, reflecting on my past accomplishments, my musical qualifications were pretty good.
Don’t misunderstand, I am nowhere near a great musician, but I have been exposed to some really great music.
She had found another chair and was now sitting directly across from me. Upon further inspection I found her to be very attractive and intelligent. This led to me inquiring if she were married or was in a serious relationship.
Fortunately for me, she was not married and had broken up with her boyfriend of five years, only two days ago. But, even though I had literally bumped into a nice woman I was still plagued by the fact that I only had $.88 cents.
She asked me what my next record would be and where I was going for my next engagement. Somehow this query brought me to the Juncture of Truth and Confession. Although I felt not the least bit guilty for the misrepresentation, I told her who I really was, and what had brought me to this coffee shop. For convenience sake I did not include the part about the $.88.
For a moment she hesitated trying to sort through the information I had just told her. Visions of her leaving her chair thinking that I was a worthless bum went through my head. Instead she said, “I appreciate your truthfulness and letting me know who you really are.”
“Besides, I had doubts that you were a successful musician by the hole in your pocket.” Damn! The hole I felt from the inside of my pocket had worn through to the outside so it was a visible spectacle for anyone to witness. Nevertheless, she obviously felt better knowing the truth and we commenced to have a really meaningful conversation.
I came to the conclusion that the person I was talking with was not only attractive and intelligent, but she was also very interesting. As an additional incentive, we had much in common.
Never in my life have I ever wanted to ask someone out now that we were through with our coffee. But, where could I take this fine person and spend only $.88? I reluctantly eliminated that possibility and instead asked if I could walk her to her car.
On our way out I passed the cahier’s kiosk and noticed that the coffee shop was also pushing lotto tickets to augment their sale of coffee and eats. They had one that they were selling for $.50, in which one could win a jackpot of $500.00. I calculated that $.38 would probably get me as far as $.88 so I bought a ticket.
In the process of scratching off the hidden numbers, jubilation overcame me when I discovered that I had won $50.00.
No, it wasn’t the jackpot, but it sure did seem like it at the time.
I would have learn to sew so that there wouldn’t be a glaring hole in my pants but, now I could ask Kim out to a respectable restaurant and have a nice dinner. In ending our little story I have discovered an undisputable fact. The words 50 cents brings me very good luck.
P.S. In that I love happy endings, I feel compelled to relate to you an addendum to this story.
Kim and I were married. Our love for each other produced two babies. Little Kim is three months and little Jim is five years old. My wife is performing one of the most difficult tasks in that she is a housewife and I am the vice-president of operations for the company that furnishes coffee to the very coffee house where Kim and I first “bumped into each other.”