Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"To err is human ...

... to forgive divine." - Alexander Pope

I glanced at the clock, and did the math in my head. I had plenty of time. I needed to get up to Tampa, but there was one more thing I needed to do before leaving Sarasota. I had to go eat at Barnacle Bill's Seafood. I walked the short two miles to Main Street then chose a table on the sidewalk. The server brought me a menu and informed me that all beer would be 2-for-1 until 3pm. I sat back and thought to myself, "I won $7oo gambling last night, I slept in this morning, I'm about to eat delicious sea food outside on the loveliest of days, and now the beer is 2-for-1?" The thought made my heart laugh and reminded me to be grateful for times like these.

I finished one frosty Amber Bock with my salad and ordered another when my meal came. As usual, the snapper was delightful and I looked forward to washing it down with another cold beer. I smiled again at the great day as I lifted my glass. Then I stopped just short of taking a drink and set my beer back on the table in disgust. The alarm on the crappy minivan parked less than six feet in front of me had started going off and making all kinds of unnecessary commotion, and that pile of shit was loud as hell. I spun into a dimension of pissed off that few have ever witnessed. I looked around, hoping I'd see someone hurredly fumbling for their keys to shut it up. Instead, I just saw the other patrons looking at me quizzically, wondering what I would do. I swiveled my gaze back to the honking whooping ruining my lunch van and back around the sidewalk once more as I stood up, flinging my napkin onto the table. As I stood there shaking my head in bothered disbelief, my server hurried out and offered to move my meal inside to the bar. Just as I turned to walk inside, the alarm stopped. I looked around again, trying to spot the idiot responsible for all the noise, but didn't see anyone. I sat back down at the table and finished my lunch, stopping every few moments to angrily glare at the rude van in front of me.

I signed the bill, grabbed the book I was reading, and started walking back to Becky's condo, still kinda pissed about the whole shitty van incident. I hadn't gotten very far when I realized I'd left my pen at the table. It was a pretty nice pen, so I turned around and went back for it. Just before I reached the table, I saw a nervous-looking middle-aged portly man step out of the shop next to the restaurant. He looked around quickly and then scuttled over to the offensive van. As I took the last few steps to the table and grabbed my pen, I turned and looked at him with a burning red laser stare. He stuttered and fumbled with his keys as he said, "I'm really sorry about earlier, I really hope I didn't ruin your lunch." I took a deep breath, preparing to spew some snide cutting remark. Then, somehow, in just that one short breath of time, I saw so many of the bonehead moves I've made in my life. I remembered how many times I'd made honest mistakes, but still deserved to be chastised for them. I also remembered how relieved I'd felt every time someone took mercy on me and forgave me without a tongue lashing. And then, I remembered for the second time that day to be grateful. I could tell he'd already rebuked himself enough, so as I exhaled a scold-less breath, I said, "It's cool, but you might wanna adjust the sensitivity on that thing."

I smiled at the sun and felt good about myself as I turned to walk back. Then I giggled when I looked at my restaurant tab and saw "1 Shrimp Cock - $6.95."

Don't judge. I can't be mature about everything.


mark phelan said...

"a kinder, gentler ross?" i thought. couldn't be. not REALLY.

thanks for not disappointing...

IronGambit said...

you were over charged!

Chad said...

You can't let one car alarm ruin your perfect day.

LauraM said...

Dude! Where are there still Barnacle Bill's in existence?? I'm happy for your restraint. Well done.

~Laura M.

Anonymous said...

LOL, good self control there, Ross! Hey, I found a blog that I thought you might enjoy: http://fuckyoupenguin.blogspot.com/

Arleigh said...

you said that you are a avid blogger yet you haven't posted for weeks.


Johnna said...

Just think about the time dad started scrubbing your truck tires at 7 in the morning and woke up the whole neighborhood. Oh wait you probably dont remember because you slept through it.

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