It’s fun to joke around with total strangers waiting in line to pay for groceries or gas. I’ve been doing it for years, starting with the little Vietnamese lady who ran the Stop & Rob store; might have had a different name but you get the idea.
Each time I’d visit the store to purchase a Big Gulp soda, about 3 or 4 times a week, I’d say, “These are free on Tuesday; Right?” She’d look at me and shake her head, “That will be eighty-nine cents”. After about a year of playing this game I walked up to the register one afternoon, “These are free on Thursday, Right?”
She looked at me and smiled, “Okay, this time only”.
One time about a year ago while at the Stop & Rob, the one at the front of the neighborhood, a young black fellow was purchasing a week’s paycheck worth of lottery tickets, had to be at least two hundred dollars worth. While he was paying I told the cashier to just add my lottery ticket to the young man’s bill, “He’ll never notice the difference”.
Without batting an eye the kid told the cashier to go ahead, “It might bring me some luck”. My lottery tickets came to three dollars and I was just kidding around. I guess the kid figured I needed a pick me up or he was in a generous mood.
This evening while on our Saturday Night Date Lucy and I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up two small items. While waiting in line behind a woman who’d topped off her shopping cart I mentioned to the cashier, “Just add my two items to the lady in front of us”, as Lucy picked up one of the scandal papers from the check out rack, “…make that three items”.
I pushed our empty shopping cart around to the front of the store since we wouldn’t need it while Lucy went to pay for our items. When I came back around Lucy had a surprised look as she explained, “That lady paid for our stuff, twelve dollars worth and she actually paid for our stuff.”
Maybe the lady thought we were on our last nickel, living on Social Security or felt sorry for me hobbling along with my walking cane since my knee was hurting. Maybe she thought we looked like her grandparents; not likely since she was black and; well, we aren’t. All the same I said, “Thank you, Daughter”, as I smiled in her direction. She was happy to return the smile.
It’s a humbling experience to have someone pay your way. I mention that while preparing for Fast Sunday, a chance to donate the cost of two meals in order that someone who is down on their luck might have the necessities of life provided in their time of need.
Beyond the small sacrifice mentioned; aren’t we all beggars while pretending to be self sufficient, going around thinking we’re so sharp? When it comes down to it we’re all hoping the Lord will make up for our many short comings; try that on for size while preparing for Sunday Worship.
The scriptures tell us, all we need to do is ask; it never hurts to ask…
The Moral Liberal’s Senior Editor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Houston police officer, self-employed locksmith, and gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.