A good deed at a good time
Orllyene and I decide to treat ourselves to lunch at Katie’s in the Carson Valley Inn. “I’m very sorry, but there will be a 10-15-minute wait,” the young maiden at the reservation desk informs us, and hands us a battery-operated device that will detonate when a table is available. We take our place on a long bench facing the café entrance.
No one enjoys waiting, especially if they are hungry, but I resolve to think only happy thoughts. I look at the couple next to us. They arrived before we did and are guardedly clutching their reservation device. He is a jovial sort, and she displays the serenity of a nun.
“Something just happened,” Orllyene says, and springs to her feet. She has the advisory device in her hand. “It vibrated; see the red lights are flashing,” she tells the young girl. But a mistake has been made and we return to the waiting bench. “Ah ha, you tried to cheat,” the jovial gentleman to our left chortles in triumph. I confess and tell him, “Yes, but I have learned my lesson.” Then an idea comes to me.
The gentleman and his partner came in before we did, so they have a summoning device, with an earlier detonation time. “Sir, while I was up at the reservation counter, the young girl gave me a newer model of the summoning device than you have. Would you care to have mine and I’ll take yours,” I ask? (I await his reply.) While the gentleman listens with interest to my offer, his serene partner smiles with a worldliness I don’t expect. (They are in on my lame ploy to advance ahead of them to our table.) “I think we will keep our device,” he replies, and he and his partner break into a smile. My attempt at humor works. Minutes later, all four of us are advanced to the dining room. I tried out my little joke and it worked, and our waiting time was a little more pleasant.
Being seated in the same section of the dining room, we acknowledge each other with a wave of friendship and enjoy our meals. Having finished eating first, they wave and smile as they are leaving. When it is time for our waiter to bring our check, he says with a whimsical smile on his face, “You won’t be getting a check; those folks in that booth over there paid for your lunch.” I look at Orllyene, Orllyene looks at me. We both feel a sense of joy akin to a miracle happening. What a gesture! It was like Christmas.
We give the waiter a huge tip and call the busboy over, whose name is Chase. Earlier we noticed he was the hardest worker in the room and give him a nice tip, as well.
What a providential happening. Who do you suppose that generous couple was? They will probably never realize how many people they pleased with their generous gift.
Ron Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org