Monday, October 24, 2011

We're only young two or three times at most...

"Hey look! I can get this thing up to fourth gear in the parking lot!" Mr. Hall gripped the door handle. Mrs. Hall was taking another lesson in piloting a stick shift car. "Okay- that's enough of that. Let's pretend there's a stop sign up ahead now." There seemed to be more activity in the high school parking lot than usual for a weekend and Mr. Hall was concerned about a nearby school bus that was conspicuously moving itself to the other side of the yard. "I'm getting to old for this. Flight instructing was less harrowing." Mrs. H. pulled Winston up to a neat stop and promptly stalled the motor. "Darn.." she muttered. "There,'re doing better every time." consoled Mr. Hall. "But we have to get going; we wanted to get some shopping done and we have to be ready for that dinner tonight." They hustled on over to the Wegman's grocery store in Fairmount.
Fall temperatures bring on the instinct to hoard and Mrs. Hall had been cooking and baking up a storm all weekend. While searching for the perfect head of cabbage, however, she realized she had inadvertently lost Mr. Hall. She strolled about the seasonal department until she came up behind him. Though the Please Do Not Touch sign was clearly posted, Mr. Hall's desire to play engineer was too strong to be denied. Photographic evidence, while proving he did in fact succumb to temptation, fails to fully document his particularly skillful application of the train whistle at strategic moments. Mrs. Hall patted him on the back and promised him one of those for Christmas if he was a good boy.
They toddled on home to change. The annual Matron/Patron appreciation dinner that night was being held at one of the Hall's favorite nearby restaurants and the attendance that night was terrific. The group filled two long tables in the back of the room, and squished in with the Halls along the back wall was Mary Perry and her daughter, little Mary Margaret. Ms. Perry had recently visited the Hall and was introduced to their signature martini after a long rehearsal one evening. She was regaling the table with what she had learned regarding the proper procedures for handling such delicate spirits: "Susan taught me this easy way to remember what to do with martinis. GIN has an 'i' in it, so you stir it (stir has an i in it, too), and VODKA has an 'a' in it, so you shake it, because shake has an a in ...well, you get the idea."
"Very good!" replied Mrs. Hall. "I've always found it easiest to teach, especially to children, when you have a mnemonic device." "What?!?" gasped Mary Margaret, and her eyes got big as plates. "You teach that martini stuff to children?!?" and she looked at Mrs. Hall with fresh respect. Mr. Hall just shook his head. "Time to go home, my dear," he said. "And I'm driving."

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