Thanksgiving [Nov 22]
The Thanksgiving dinner last year was really special. Boy, have I got a story for you! It was at Megan’s place and all of us were gathered, even my niece Rachel and sister Debbie. Megan has this fine teakwood table with artful carvings. We all sat around the table and there were two chairs to be taken. Rachel wouldn’t let anybody take the one next to her. She announced that it’s for her favorite teddy bear. And for the other one, there was a special guest. A wealthy businessman was invited and he occupied the chair. Next to him was seated Megan’s granddad, Mr. Branson, a charming gentleman, who spoke in fragmented sentences and started and ended every anecdote with a joke.
He was old and his eyesight was poor. He used the fork on the table more than the plate and spilled wine from time to time. The businessman thundered aloud his immodesty and bragged about how he owns half the town, his lineage, cars, et al. He didn’t quite make an impression and Megan’s granddad, Mr. Branson stole his thunder with his sweet stories and this irked the rich one! He could see people smiling when Mr. Branson was on and dutifully eating when he came on with his sermon.
Offended, he called for a change of seat. He was irritated by the old man’s untidy table etiquette and complained loudly about it. Just then, Mr. Branson happened to spill some soup, which found its way to the floor. Last straw…
“Damn you, old man, you are a fool, you should be ashamed of yourself… I just can’t stand him!” And eyed the chair next to Rachel.
Everyone of us were too stunned to speak…
Rachel wiggled out of the chair with tiny feet touching the floor. She took the teddy from the chair next to her, made a roundabout, walked over to the businessman. “It’s alright, you don’t need to sit beside a fool” – this she delivered straight to Mr. Branson, held his arm and offered the chair beside her.
Teddy was perched atop the table and all of us could see that it didn’t mind losing the chair! It was the Thanksgiving dinner.
Shopping Reminder Day [Nov 25]
I was reminded of a shopping incident just now… I don’t need to remind Megan to shop, ever! She loves to shop period. With Christmas not so far away, she is filling up her wardrobe at intervals. She mostly window shops and collects some sundry stuff after an hour or two. It gets to me at times. This time, I came equipped, I had Steve with me. At least I had company when Meggy browses everything in the mall. Boy that was a big mistake!
Steve was apparently hit by the “shopping bug” too, and went on a buying spree. Now, I had to carry two bags instead of one. When we were done, there was a truckload of stuff to carry. I unceremoniously dumped most on Steve. It looked like a skyscraper in his hands with the box at the top almost touching his forehead. He could barely see! Somehow, we stumbled to the parking lot and Steve screamed instantly. He dropped the goods and shouted at full decibel “I got a gun, if you touch my bike, you are toast!”
The guy who was trying to get started on the bike scooted letting the bike fall on the ground with a thud.
Bravo! Megan and I looked at Steve admirably… oh man! He was proud until he saw his bike just beside the one that fell. Poor fella had left his own bike for the fear of a gun. And Steve just chased him away from his own bike. Anything is fun when Steve is around, even shopping!
Why don’t you send an email and share a shopping story with me too?
Cake Day! [Nov 26]
Now, don’t think that Steve is always the trouble maker and we have to take the brunt of it. Sometimes it’s the other way round. Last year, on Cake Day, I decided to give a pleasant surprise to my sweetheart Aaliyah by making her a cake. I took Steve to be my partner in crime… oops, sorry, my partner in cooking as he boasted that he knew a lot about baking. Maybe it’s similar to chemistry! Hehe…
Jokes apart, we set to our mission of making the cake at his home. I decided upon making a simple chocolate cake and started our job. Steve said with an air of authority, “You know man, the secret to making a chocolate sponge cake is to add flour with cocoa and do the beating of the butter and sugar really well.” The guy seemed well informed so I got more confidence.
Our baking proceeded nicely and after mixing up all the ingredients, I poured the batter into a cake pan and put into the oven. Just then, Steve had to go out to meet his neighbor who called him.
“Just take it out after twenty minutes” said Steve before going away. “Don’t worry bud, I know.” I assured him.
I sat on the couch and started browsing the pages of some magazines. And then I just went off dozing!!! Yes, my friends – I just dozed off! Suddenly, I was awakened by a yell — “Bob! Bob! Your cake! Why are you sleeping???” Steve shrieked as I rubbed my eyes and looked at him. “Cake?” I stared at him blankly. I caught the view of the burned chocolate cake on the table. The world seemed to be crashing on me!
“Noooooo!!!” I screamed but before I could say anything else, the doorbell rang! Steve went to open the door. It was Aaliyah. Aaliyah, looking beautiful as always, handed him a box as she stepped into the room. “Hi guys! I brought a cake for you,” Aaliyah said happily. I felt like crying! I stood there affixed.
“Hey Bobby what’s that smell?” Aaliyah asked casually as she kissed me on the cheek.
I looked at the cake with a heavy heart and a burden of guilt. Aaliyah was clearly perturbed. “Well, I’m sorry, Aaliyah”, Steve said, “Bob wanted to bake a cake for you but I mistakenly told him to put it in the oven for a longer time. It got burned. I am really sorry — I mean, I didn’t mean that to happen.”
Of course, I was totally surprised but Aaliyah was more surprised than me. She looked at me with disbelief and then with a scream she fell over me hugging me tightly. “Oh, Bob! My Bob! You are such a cutie! Your burned cake is better than any other cake.” she chuckled.
I was speechless. I looked at Steve. He smiled knowingly and got out of the room leaving us together. Tears came into my eyes. Thanks, buddy!
Camera Day [Nov 28]
Ron got a camera with innumerable pixels, well, he did mention a number, but I am tech-illiterate. He insisted on clicking pictures and we had to pose. Aaliyah and I gave him all possible poses and he clicked to his heart’s content. When he somehow transferred the pictures to his laptop, he was ecstatic. The pictures came out great. Well, they certainly did because Aaliyah and I looked good together! Ron looked at the pictures intently and shook his head in disapproval. He opened the pictures in Photoshop and started clicking the mouse for some touch-ups.
“Bob, you’ve got ears like they are away from your head, let’s get them in a bit…” As if by magic he performed cosmetic surgery on me, and my ears were back in shape in a minute. Next, he focused on my signature disheveled, hair. “Ah! I wanted to fix this one for a long time… here we go.”
Now I looked neatly combed. I must admit he has skills. I mean, he literally made me look so different that I couldn’t believe it myself.
Ron, like an artist, stretched his arms when he was through and said, “Now that’s a pretty boy!”
Aaliyah, pushed me aside, took a look at the screen and said in a quiet but clear voice, “Yeah, Ron, that guy looks good, but he isn’t Bob.”
Right! I stop here and you know why.
Now, for the Moment of Zen: Every small gesture of love is like a seed sowed on a fertile land, when it blooms it’s a beautiful harvest!
Close your eyes and take a deep breath. I’ll take a break while you rest and come back with the more next week.