Friday, December 18, 2015

excerpt 3

Another excerpt from the saga known as Bob and Mary's Excellent Adventure
So after Mary giving me another lesson on technology and its use, I finally realized that for your phone to work as intended by the manufacturer, you have to turn it on. Who knew?
Our itinerary (or was it my stomach) called for lunch, but we had to make a very important stop first to take care of some financial hooha that Mary insisted was crucial to our continued solvency. She tried to tell me what she was intending to do, but typical for me, the message barely made it to my ears before it disappeared in the fog of numbers involved. All I know 
Is that the transaction involved some kind of balance between 2 accounts that had to resolved. Mary has always handled the family finances and has done a great job, so I just keep my nose out of it. The more numbers involved, the less interested I become. So when she told me that the money transfer from one account to another was for all of 35 cents, I didn't really care. As long as I get fed somewhere along the way, she can make as many transfers as she wants.
After working up an appetite handling all that high finance, we headed for one of favorite restaurants. However, we couldn't get anywhere near the place. The parking lot was jammed. All those old Buicks, Chevys, and other old cheap domestic cars that were scraping against each other, made me certain that in that restaurant that was supposed to feed me some good food, was a hustler trying to feed a bunch of baloney to a packed house of Seniors. Give them a free meal and they will listen to anything.
We opted for the Olive Garden instead, not because we could get a free meal there without having to listen to a sales pitch, but because we still had some money left on a gift card we got from someone somewhere. We were halfway through our salad when a long parade of very long young men appeared, all dressed alike and heading for the room right behind us. Being the quick and clever guy I am, I realized that we were going to share the remainder of our lunch with a basketball team. I picked out one of the passing giants and inquired where they from and what they were doing here. The fine young gentleman addressed me as "Sir" and then identified his cohort as the Grambling State basketball team here to play Marquette later that day. I replied that I could wish them luck, but I wouldn't mean it. He smiled politely as he eased away from any further contact with me.
Meanwhile, at the table next to us, an elderly man was talking on his phone, asking whoever was on the other end of the call what college team has a big "G" on its uniform. Mary, who was not eavesdropping on his conversation (she claims), told him which team it was and then set about having a ten minute conversation with him. He was a retired teacher, so you know how that went. In those ten minutes she learned his entire life story and gained another friend.
It was an interesting lunch which was about to get more interesting. We were ready to pay the check, having given our waiter the gift card that brought us there. He returned with the card with a sad and embarrassed look and informed us that the card was no good anymore, but not because it had run out of money, but because the Olive Garden restaurant had been recently sold and they were no longer honoring the former owners gift cards. Well, that was unacceptable to Mary, so she sought an audience with the manager, got her to accept the card and got her to honor the remaining $7 on the card as our waiter's tip.
Mary does stuff like that all the time. She's a good one to take to lunch if you're hoping to scare up a free meal.
As we were leaving the restaurant, I, wearing my UW cap and jacket, stuck my head in the door to the Grambling State's lunch room, tipped my hat and said loudly enough so at least some of them could hear, "GO BADGERS!" I heard a few halfhearted boos in return.
Now let's go do some shopping.

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