blank stare

Just Wait

In the mid-70's, I traveled in a Christian Band duo throughout the Northwest and Canada.  Our extended Dodge cargo van carried both us and our equipment. If you know anything about cargo vans, the only windows they have are those for the front driver and passenger. Given that we were traveling in the desert area of Eastern Washington during summertime with temperatures ranging in the 105-109 degrees area, and that we had no air conditioning, we had our windows down providing only a modest amount of relief.

We were traveling through a small town on our way to sing at a church. Steve, my partner, was driving, and  I was the passenger.  I was being particularly, his words, "obnoxious"  (I prefer the phrase 'witty and entertaining'). It was very hot, we were both sweating profusely and particularly uncomfortable (due to the inadequate air flow in the cab), and he began to be annoyed with me. Having had enough of my whimsical banter, he suddenly pulled over to the side of the curb by a little green grassy park, put the car in neutral, foot still on the brake left the engine running, and just sat there looking straight out the front of the window.

I began to pummel him with lots of nagging questions:  "Don't you know we have to be at the church in 45 minutes?" "Don't you know it's hot?"  "I can't breathe!" "I'm suffocating here!"  "We need more fresh air coming through the window."   "Why are we stopping here?"  "CAN WE GO?!!"

He slowly turned his head to me and responded, "Just wait."

"Wait for what?"  I asked.

"Just wait." he repeated.

I'm beginning to wonder if  he was suffering from a heat stroke.  As I turned my head to look out my passenger window to get my bearings, I was struck directly in the face with a  jet of water coming from the park's rotating sprinkler system.  Gasping for air and wiping my completely wet soaked head, I turned my gaze back to Steve.

"Now we can go."  he calmly said with a wry smile on his face.

He put the van in drive and continued on with our journey. I sat quiet, keeping my 'witty and entertaining'  words to myself.



A Night on the Town

fish_and_chipsMy wife and I went to Ivar's Seafood and Chowder House for dinner tonight. We asked for it "to go." The manager, a middle-aged man who looked very tired from working all day, was putting our clam chowder into the bag.

"Silverware?" he asked with blank stare.

"You mean 'plastic-ware?" I queried.

Once again with a blank stare, he asked more firmly and a little louder, "Silverware??!"

I responded, "Uhhhhh….ummmmm…sure."

He reached over to his "silverware" tray and grabbed a plastic spoon and fork and placed them into the bag.

I politely thanked him, took the bag, and left anticipating a night of 'fine-dining."