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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Retirement, LIghts, Camera, Action.

Work has been going well, it has been busy, and occasionally a little hectic, but we have been keeping up quite well.  In fact, most days we manage to get ahead, and perform some of the work scheduled for the next day.  It is like altering time, where Tuesday (at least a part of Tuesday) happens on Monday.

With a little help from Customer Service we can actually, on occasion, do some of Wednesday, or even Thursday on Monday.  This frees up Tuesday to finish the rest of Thursday, and Friday.  On Wednesday we have Saturday, which has really started to irritate the owners of the company who don't like it when we fire up the grill, throw some bratwurst and burgers over the smoldering, red hot briquets, and pop open a few frosty ones.  Also, this makes Friday a real drag, because we are having Monday, or Tuesday, and wondering what to do on Saturday.  Time travel is tricky stuff.

But, that is not the point of this story.  This story is about the kind, gentle spirit of the older generation.

We have been doing so well at work I thought bringing in a dozen donuts for the people at work would be a kind gesture.  So, I did.  Tim Hortons is right on the way to work, so I just stopped there.  In the parking lot was a big passenger van with "St. John's Church of the Holy Eucharist" emblazoned on the side. I parked a couple of spaces away, I hate parking next to other cars.

People get out of their car as if it were on fire, particularly when there are donuts involved, throwing open the doors, leaping out to rush into whatever building they happen to be visiting.  My poor, innocent car will be sitting there, minding its own business, peacefully waiting for me, when one of these half crazed shop-a-holics, with the appearance of  a monstrous, post apocalyptic, lunatic from Mad Max will slam their door into my car, like a caveman, leaving a big gouge, some awful, gaudy paint, and an emotional scar that will never heal, right there on the side of my car, it is the act of a criminally insane, heartless...  Oops.  Sorry, that is not what this story is about, either.

Anyway, I went in to the donut shop, and was waiting in line, trying to decide what donuts would make the people at work the happiest.  Donuts are such an individual, thing.  Some like Boston cream, some go for the the white cream, some like cake, others glazed, others still, crullers, chocolate dip, honey dip, vanilla dip, maple frosting or apple fritters, sprinkles, or plain, these are the decisions that accompany a good deed. These are the trials of the kind.

Fortunately, there were several people ahead of me in line, giving me considerable time to decide.  While thinking I looked around the dining area.  In the center, having pushed several tables together were a group of elderly people.  Wearing dresses and suits, looking neat and proper, and talking quietly amongst themselves, it was almost certain they were the occupants of the church van.  A younger man was sitting with them, reading a pamphlet for the Columbus Museum of History."  It was a field trip, and it made me smile, and feel a little better about things.

Looking back to study the menu, it seemed like nothing could go wrong, this had been the right decision, and any donuts picked would be appreciated, and enjoyed in the spirit with which they were given.  It was going to be a good day.

"That was my sour cream plain donut, you tramp."  I heard, a shrill, grating shriek,  it was the voice of uncontrollable rage.

Turning to look, just in time to see a woman on the right hand side, stand up, slowly, grabbing a cup of coffee, she tried to throw the hot liquid in the face of the woman on the other side of the table.  Fortunately, she was old, and moving slow, and the lid was secure, and most of the coffee landed, harmlessly on the table, and dripped to the floor.

The tramp who had taken the plain donut was not waiting to see what happened next, she reached into her purse, moving aside several bottles of medicine, an address book, and a mini purse sachet, lavender, I think, and grabbed a letter opener that gleamed with a wicked reflection in the fluorescent light.  Being a little older, she dropped it on the floor, and had to pick it up.  As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to get all the way to the floor, and back upright again, trust me on this, sometimes I take a nap between tying my shoes.  But, this gave the coffee thrower the opportunity to make her move, she climbed up on the table, I think she was coming over to deliver a little justice to the donut thief in the form of a good beating.

Soon, the whole table was up and swinging, coffee, tea, donuts going everywhere.  The air echoed with curses and swearing, grunts, groans, and insults.

It took about 5 minutes, but the younger man, with the pamphlet, finally got them settled down, back into their chairs.  Wiping up the table, bandaging cuts, and tending to fallen walkers, and oxygen tanks, with a quiet, calm efficiency that suggested experience.

As I was leaving, donuts in hand, I heard the lady who threw the first coffee, ask "we should stop at the Cracker Barrel for lunch."

"Oh, that is such a good idea," the other lady replied as she put away the letter opener.

I smiled, and thought "I can't wait to retire."