eating out

I’m not deaf!!!

not deafMy car has all the bells and whistles.  Most components in the car (radio, navigation, phone, etc.) can be controlled by voice commands. A button must be first pushed to activate the listening mode. The little mic is right above the driver's head. Push the button, issue your command, and wait for the command to be executed. Simple.

My wife and I attended a special birthday party for a friend at a local restaurant. After the party, we left and climbed into the car. I started the car and the GPS display panel lights up. It has two modes, daylight (black text on bright white background) and night time (soft grey text on black background). Since we arrived while it was light outside, the display was still in daylight mode. It was dark now, and the blinding display looked like a flashlight shining back onto our faces.

Just as I was pulling out of the parking lot my wife leans over towards me, and with a very LOUD voice, yells "NIGHT TIME MODE!!!" 

I'm so startled at this unexpected outburst, I nearly lose control of the car.

Recovering from the near accident, ears still throbbing,  I advise her, "A button needs to be pushed before you issue a command!"

"Oh, I thought it was listening all the time." she responds.

"Even if it was," I countered, "it's not deaf !!! You don't have to yell so loud!"

"I just wanted to make sure it heard me loud and clear."

"All you need to do is to speak clearly." I instructed. "Believe me, it will hear you 'loud and clear.'"

I pushed the button and said, "Go ahead…speak."  She spoke. It changed to night-time mode. She settled back into her chair and smiled, obviously pleased with her great accomplishment. My ears are still ringing.


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."

Senior Citizen



I was sent this story today and it made me laugh. So true!

$5.37 I am not a Senior!!!! or am I?????

$5.37! That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me.

I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the hardest thing anyone has ever said to me.

He said, "It's OK. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."

I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me.

"Only $4.68" he said cheerfully.

I stood there stupefied. I am 56, not even 60 yet? A mere child! Senior citizen?

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me? I'll show him, I thought.

I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile. Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted!

What am I now? A toddler?

"Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?"

I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind! "Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!"

I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing.

That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. Then, a few other objects came into focus: The car seat in the back seat. Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten dough nut on the dashboard. Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish.

All I could think was, "What is the world coming to?"

All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here"?

At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits. Elmo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag.

His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake."

I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

She offered these kind words: "It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time."

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40 mph zone. Yessss, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius.

And no, I told the officer, I'm not too old to be driving this fast.

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.

The good news was that I had successfully found my way home.