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Monthly Archives: June 2007

it was the best. day.

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A week or so back, Kaitie and I ventured to the city for a cousin’s birthday party. Said cousin was turning 8, and the party was at a place that had laser tag. Needless to say, we did not play.

However, that had little to do with the best day ever.

No, the best day ever occurred at a necessary intermittent stop at the local Wal Mart to grab a bite to eat.

We went the Wal Mart deli, which always seems to have, quite possibly, the best food. After purchasing some chicken tenders and potato wedges, we headed over to the snack bar to dine.

Upon sitting down, I told Kaitie that I would take the quarter that I knew I had in my pocket and purchase a Sam’s Choice Diet Cola for us to share. Arriving at the soda machine, I inserted my quarter and was soon disappointed to discover that my change fell all the way down without giving me a chance to make my selection.

Damn it.

I went to the next machine, a Sam’s Choice Water machine. Not quite the same when you’re expecting soda, but it would have to do. If only I had a dime, I though, since the waters were 35 cents compared to the quarter sodas. I shoved my hands down in my pocket and was pleased to discover that I did, in fact, have a dime! Not only that, but I also had a nickel, too!

I put my money in this machine and heard the satisfying clunk of my change landing to rest on the other change inside the machine and pressed one of the 10 buttons to vend my water.

Unfortunately, every single water was sold out.

Damn it.

Dejected, I went to get my change out of this machine. As I collected my coins, I found a most pleasant surprise: someone had left a dime in the machine! With this and the newfound nickel I had in my other pocket, I would be able to buy a real soda for Kaitie and I to share!

I moseyed (is that the correct spelling for the past tense of the word “mosey”? It just doesn’t look right. Anyway. I digress.) over to the name brand soda machine and settled on a Diet Dr Pepper. I hit the vend button, and I held my breath to make sure it would, in fact, vend.

The soda landed with a satisfying thunk. Little did I know, there was another special treat waiting for me.

As I went to retrieve my DDP, I noticed that there was, in fact, not one but TWO (two!) sodas. Someone had – inadvertenly, no doubt – left a Diet Pepsi to sit and wait for some thirsty person like me to come and rescue it.

I practically skipped my way back to Kaitie at the snack bar to tell her my story.

It was the best day.


my sister rocks

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I love childhood memories.
And I especially love those memories that are attached to my older sister, Autumn. Having a sister has definitely made growing up so much more fun, although there were many times that I thought I hated her and wished I never had a sister.

But I never meant it. Most of the time. My sister has grown to be my best friend.

When we were kids, we used to ride the bus to school every day. (Up until they rezoned the bus routes and we had to ride Coach Sherrill’s bus instead of Ms. Elrod’s bus, and we were instantly transformed into ‘car riders.’) For a long time, we even sat together. As a child, I felt as if she protected me from all the evils on the bus.

And oh, were there evils on the bus.

After a little while, we had assigned seating on the bus. And it was awful. I remember sitting in the back half of the bus while the high school girls used to talk about things that would make my third-grade ears burn. And on those frightening days when my sister was sick or for some reason didn’t ride the bus, I had to face it all alone.

Oh, the bus.

But I digress.

Every morning, my sister and I would rise from our bunk beds (which were later disconnected and placed side by side), get dressed, eat a quick breakfest (for Autumn, a raw hot dog; for me, a strawberry Pop-Tart with no icing), grab our lunches and go wait for our bus.

I remember on one fateful morning, around 645 or 700, we were standing, waiting. After a moment or two of pensive thought while staring at the ground, my sister turned to me.

“Look at that rock,” she said, pointing to it with her toe. “It looks like a penguin.”

I squinted, careful not to drop my fluorescent pink Tupperware lunchbox. “Really?” The rock looked like a teapot to me.

“Yeah,” she said, almost daring me to challenge her.

And since she was almost five years my senior and everything she said to me was gospel, I nodded my head. “You are so right.”

Not to be left out and desperate for my sister to think I was cool, I quickly scanned the ground and found a rock that was pretty much like all the others, rounded and ovally-shaped, perfectly smooth and protruding from the ground.

“Whoa, look at this one,” I said, tapping it with my foot.

Autumn leaned closer, then asked, “Yeah? What is it?”

“It looks like a whale,” I said proudly, obviously pleased with my find.

“Which part looks like the whale?” Apparently she was not convinced.

I knelt down and ran my fingers along the smooth, arced surface. “Right here. It looks like a whale’s back.”

My sister scoffed, and I straightened back up. Then she said, “I know what we should do. We should stand on our rocks every single day while we wait for the bus. And one day, the kids on the bus will start to notice that we stand in the exact same spot every day, and they’ll wonder how we do it. No one will know that we have these rocks to hold our places. I’ll bet even the bus driver will notice.”

When she got finished talking, she smiled and assumed her position on top of her rock, the penguin-slash-teapot. Ever the dutiful little sister, I stood on top of my whale-rock, waiting for the bus to come and take us away.

And so we did, every morning, for the rest of that school year.

I kept waiting and waiting for some one to notice, flashing a knowing smile at my sister as we climbed aboard our yellow chariot.

“How do you two do it,” they would ask. “How do you stand in the exact same spot, every single day?”

No one ever did.

too hot to handle

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I will never even begin to understand the human instinct.

Why do we do some things, even when we know the outcome may possibly be less than desirable?

As many of you may know (and if you don’t, do you even read my blogs?), I work in a restaurant in The Great Little Big City. And I have to say, my sampling of the human race that serves as our restaurant patrons do not give me much hope.

I’ve had people ask stupid questions, say stupid things, and order things like “hush puppies” and “onion rings” (we have neither).

But there is one thing I have noticed without fail.

However, let me preface this next bit with a little background info (as always).

We have recently installed new glo-rays at work. This now means that our plates, which are normally pretty hot, are now unbearably hot, within just a matter of minutes. I mean, it’s almost impossible to leave a plate there for even the amount of time it takes to assemble it and then be able to pick it up again. The glo-rays are good for food temps, bad for fingertips.

Which brings me to my observation.

As I deliver these said piping-hot plates to picky patrons, I always say, “These plates are very, very hot. Do NOT touch them. In fact, it would be in your best interest to just merely eat the food right off the plate, right where it is, unless you want your flesh to melt together in a most horrific way.” (Okay, that last part was an embellishment, but that is exactly how hot these plates can get.)

You would think this would be an ample warning.

Oh, no.

People take plates from me, grab them out of my hands, and then utter some curse and proceed to drop it on the table. Oh, golly gee, I wish I would have TOLD you the plate was hot, you jerk.

Or another reaction, one of my favorites, is when you set the plate down and people automatically feel the need to look to see if you’re looking and then grab the plate. I’m sorry, did you think this was a test of strength? I will win, believe me you. Or they give it a quick quarter-turn one way, then another quarter-turn back. What the hell was that? Does that make it taste better? Do you want to shift the food around a bit? Or is it just that necessary that you touch your plate to see if it is hot, then you want everything to think that you had reason to touch it. As you turn your plate, others that so patiently waited and tried to avoid first-degree burns will turn to one another, nod and say, “Oh, yes. He had to turn his plate. It was absolutely essential that he touched his plate.”

There are variations of this example of the human instinct.

For example, when you get a taste of something really gross, and you spit out the offending material and then lean to the person next to you and suggest that they take a taste as well.

Or when you smell something really horrible and then try your hardest to contain that smell so that someone else can smell it and back you up on the fact that yes, it does indeed, smell.

But you know what? I’m guilty of it, too. I make the wrong decisions, too, a LOT, and it always seems like I end up getting burned.

Anyway. That’s all. Just something I was thinking about.