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On the Eighth Day there was Breakfast

Occasionally I'll accept guest posts from friends and fellow humor writers. This guest humor piece is from my friend, Randy Clark, who is branching out from his normal business writing into creative nonfiction and humor. I'm pleased to share this story with you.

It was the eighth morning of a ten-day excursion into the Southwest. My wife and I were meandering our way towards Phoenix for a flight back to Indianapolis. We overnighted in Flagstaff, Arizona staying in one of those roadside inns named by putting an adjective in front of their function, like Well-Being Motel or Amenity Inn. I awoke before my wife. The Happy Hotel had a complimentary breakfast. It was open from 6 am until 10 am. It was 5:40. I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and quietly headed to the lobby, leaving my wife resting peacefully. I’d bring back coffee.

The lobby/breakfast area was packed. There were folks everywhere. As I tried to make my way to the coffee, I was cut off, nudged, and ignored. I heard Excusez-Moi and guttural grunts—I believe some were directed at me.
Randy is also a singer, in addition to being a writer.

After grabbing a cup of joe, I found a seat in the lobby of this L-shaped breakfast hall. I had eyed a USA Today on the table next to a plush black leatherette lobby chair. I picked up the newspaper and read the news of the day. The headlines included the aftermath of Trump’s European tour and Tiger Woods mugshot.

As I quietly sat and read the paper a man came over and without saying a word, or making eye contact, picked up the large foyer chair next to me and moved it alongside of a couch where two companions sat. He didn’t know if I had a purpose for the chair. I could’ve been saving it for my wife, I wasn’t, but I could have been.

Across from me was a table of five friends speaking loudly with food dangling from their lips as they all chewed and talked simultaneously. The breakfast area was self-serve as well as self-clean, and although there was a trash receptacle next to the table of the full-mouth-talking clan they left their mess of saliva moistened crumbs for someone else to dispose of.

At another table, a young couple with a cute toddler ignored their son as he threw fistfuls of baby squeezed scrambled eggs for three feet in every direction.

Still others jostled past people as if they weren’t there, and stood in front of the coffee blocking access as they slowly deliberated which cream to use, French raspberry or vanilla grape.

I perused the paper. As I finished scanning each section, I placed them on the table perpendicular to each other. When I was done I went for a second cup of coffee, grabbed one for my wife, and headed back to the room.

It was our tradition that I’d bring her coffee and then we’d return together to eat. Not today. She’d had eight days of Cheerful Roadside Canteen breakfast and wasn’t prepared for the food, or the crowd.

I returned for a breakfast of hard tater tots, greasy sausages, and what I hoped were scrambled eggs with at least a bit of warmth remaining. Hey, it was free. Don’t judge.

At the dining hall I saw the chair had been returned to its rightful place, the tables (and floors) were clean…and the USA today I had left scattered on the table was neatly stacked. Maybe, I shouldn’t be casting stones.

It was a lesson in humility. As I was judging those around me and smugly back-slapping myself for being a superior person, the truth was I wasn’t much different. I was as selfish as the next person. I left the newspaper not as I had found it, but in disarray. You could argue that my offense was less intrusive than some of the others, but that’s not the point. The point is I was inconsiderate of my fellow human beings.

The eggs were cold, the sausage was hard, and the tater tots burnt, but only slightly. I finished my plate. Like I said, it was free.





You can find my books Branding Yourself (affiliate link), No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million, or for the Kindle or Nook.

Comments

  1. You sound like a nice guy. When I taught school I noticed I taught the more attractive kids every year. Then it dawned on me at a science fair. One of my brilliant students did not win anything. I had to see who that dumb judge was. There was my name. I judged his project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ann, it's so easy to get caught up in a glorified delusional version of ourselves. We all need those moments where we see our name tag and realize we're not perfect.

      Delete

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