The Hole Thing – SoCS

Normally, I would make some joke about welcoming you to the oven, but even at 99°f (37°c), we aren’t the hottest place on earth, and we certainly aren’t alone. On the other hand, I’m sure the thought of an ice-cold beer sits well with many of you (feel free to substitute your beverage of choice). Regardless of the heatwave, Linda G. Hill has a Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt for us. We’ll deal with it slowly, from the cool comfort the inside bar.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘the first 2-5 words at the top of the closest printed matter.’ Open (if necessary) the closest printed matter to you. Use the first 2-5 words at the top of the page any way you’d like in your post. Have fun!”

And it’s a challenge for me. I was buying something online earlier, and the “closest printed matter” to me is a grocery store receipt that was stuck in my wallet. I’m going to skip past the store’s address and go with item one – “Deli – Pastrami – $11.94 – Savings: $1.67.” Have fun, indeed.

If we were having a beer, you’d be a bit impatient.

“You’re late, Dan. I hope you have a good reason.”

“David, it just turned three-o-one. I wouldn’t call forty-five seconds late.”

“He was hoping you were early, Dan. You know, to open the tab.”

“I’ll open it, in his name, and I’ll put a Corona on it to get it moving in the right direction.”

“Is it my week to pay, Dan?”

“It is now, David.”

“What the heck, I should pay more often than I do, my bourbon costs a lot more than your beer.”

“We’re not accountants.”

“Here you go guys. A John Howell’s Special, and an ice-cold Corona. Regarding the accountants, the group of women ahead of you could have used one.”

“Why, Cheryl. What happened?”

“There were four of them. Three were drinking wine. The other one pounded down three Cosmos. When the heavy hitter finished her third, she told the group she had to go, tossed a twenty on the bar, and walked out.”

“No tip?”

“No tip? Dan, I know you’re not accustomed to liquor prices, but the twenty didn’t cover her drinks. Then the other three asked for separate checks.”

“Ouch – so you got stuck with the shortage?”

“Yep, it has to come out of my drawer.”

“Cheryl?”

“Yes, David.”

“Put one of those cosmos on my tab. Consider the twenty as the tip from the group.”

“David…”

“Cheryl, do as he says.”

“OK, Dan. Thank you, David.”

“That was very nice of you, David. And you know what? I’m not surprised.”

“You’re not? I thought that would shock you, Dan.”

“Nope. I’ve known all along what a nice guy you are under that gruff exterior.”

“You guys want any food today?”

“Either we split some wings, or I go home to a terrible sandwich. I’ll even pay for the wings.”

“OK, I’ll put those in. Twenty wings. Blue Cheese for David, Parm Pep for Dan.”

“Thanks Cheryl.”

“I’ll let you pay for the wings, Dan, but why would you have a terrible sandwich?”

“Well, it starts with…”

“Whoa, hold it. ‘It starts with…?’ I don’t have all day, Dan.”

“I’ll keep it short. It starts with the fact that the Deli at Big-Y had pastrami on sale, yesterday.”

“Their store brand or Boars Head?”

“Store brand, which I prefer over Boars Head, not that it matters.”

“And then?”

“When I got to the dairy aisle, they didn’t have any Swiss cheese.”

“That stinks. What did you do?”

“What could I do? You can’t put deli meat back. Normally, it wouldn’t matter, but I had run out of Swiss cheese. So, I stopped at Stop and Shop and then again at Target.”

“Don’t tell me they were all out of Swiss cheese.”

“Yes, they were. All three, out of Swiss.”

“What brand were you looking for?”

“I prefer Sargento ultra-thin slices, but they didn’t even have their store brand. They didn’t even have hunks of Swiss.”

“Were they out of cheese in general or just Swiss?”

“Just Swiss. Apparently, it’s a supply chain issue.”

“What’s so special about the supply chain for Swiss cheese, did they run out of holes?”

“Ha! Maybe. All I know is pastrami and cheddar is not a good sandwich.”

“Maybe it’s just a New England thing. Did you check online?”

“David, the temperature across the country hovering at a hundred degrees, I’m not having a pack of cheese shipped here.”

“Here you go guys, barbecue wings, a fresh bourbon, a cold Corona and four slices of Swiss cheese to go.”

“Swiss cheese to go?”

“I told my manager what David did with the cosmo skip. Then he heard you guys talking about the cheese, so he cut four slices for you, Dan.”

“Wait, Cheryl, I did the cosmo thing, but Dan gets the cheese?”

“Yes, David. Consider it a pay-it-forward thing. But you get a free glass of John Howell’s bourbon.”

“Cheers Dan, enjoy the holes.”


If you like speculative fiction with suspense, action and a bit of family sarcasm, you will enjoy these books:

Knuckleheads
The Evil You Choose
When Evil Chooses You

Series page on Amazon

My profile page (and books) on Lulu

74 comments

  1. 99 ? You should come to southern CA where it’s cooler , only 95 . Also , beer won’t help much to overcome the heat . I hate to reveal that . Drink water or lemonaid — Oh , yeah , you don’t grow lemons there . Must be tough ! ( Unless , of course , you have six or eight beers . Then you kind of forget the heat . )

    Liked by 2 people

    • 95 might feel good right about now. At 6:00 in was in the high 70s with 99% humidity. Now it’s in the 80s, still with the humidity. I know the beer doesn’t help. I drink plenty of water. I wish I had fresh lemons. I’ll have to deal with the lime slice in my Corona – I know, I know, but allow me my dreams.

      I hope you’re dealing well with your heat, Dan. I know your weather/water issues are reasons for concern.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Did they run out of holes?” I like it. Even a little snark is cooling these days. Somehow knowing that others are as hot or hotter doesn’t help. Snark does, however. So does that photo of the children’s playground in the shade — that’s a cool beauty! So is that white Rose of Sharon. Paying it forward is always a sign of hope for our species, isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Since I can’t change the weather, I thought I’d try an uplifting post. I can’t resist a little snark, even when I’m trying to be good. Actually, the Swiss cheese issue is real, and the “maybe they ran out of holes” was my wife’s comment to me when I was complaining that they had plenty of other cheese. Humor helps. It looks like we fall into the low 90s on Monday and then lower on Tuesday. By then, you might find me on that swing set in the shady part of the park. I hope you have a great weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. That’s not a two headed Bunny it’s a push you pull me bunny! …as for the woman who threw a $20 on the bar, how come Cheryl had to cover it over here we’d of covered it between us and not ask the selfish, tight woman to join again. Really bad to expect the bar staff to cover it 😲

    Liked by 3 people

    • That says so much about those other ladies, doesn’t it? I wondered the same thing about why they didn’t pick up her tab. But then they ask for separate checks…. 🙄 I don’t think I’d go out drinking with them.

      Liked by 2 people

      • No I agree Lois, I’d rather say let’s split it three ways and be done! I hate the cuffuffle some people make about the bill…for goodness sake . Poor waitress faffing around with separate bills….
        The lady who left was mean too!

        Liked by 3 people

      • From the sounds of the conversation afterwards, I don’t think Cosmo-Girl will be invited back. If the same bartender is on duty, she might get a gentle reminder. I thought it was about as rude as it gets. Usually, the bar stories are more fiction than real. MS Cosmo was real, as was the Swiss cheese shortage. WTH???

        Like

    • Most people here would do that, Willow, but this group didn’t. I witnessed that play out at a different bar. As soon as the women realized that the bartender was stuck, they switched and asked for separate checks. I increased my tip to cover the shortfall. I didn’t like the idea of buying a portion of that woman’s drink, but I like the bartender, and that job is tough enough.

      I like the “push you pull me” reference :-)

      Like

  4. What a great post. David and that gruff exterior…this was a heart warmer, Dan. Those women…! I was out many years ago and watched a table of about 6 ladies, with their designer handbags, harass the heck out of the waitress. It was all I could do to not get a manager and complain.
    What is the deal with cheese? I like to get the Havarti cheese at Sam’s. They have been out for about 2-3 months now. “Enjoy the holes.” You guys were prime today. Have a great weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Lois. I can put up with almost anything at the bar, but being mean to (or unwanted advances on) the bartender gets me hot under the collar.

      No clue on the cheese deal. My wife suggested that maybe they ran out of holes. I’ve never had Havarti. I tell people that Swiss is the softest cheese I eat. It’s not totally true, but I prefer harder cheeses. I hope your supply chain gets repaired soon. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Really great conversation today. David was exceptional. His unexpected kindness to Cheryl deserves a big hug. All
    those women should be ashamed of themselves. I bet it’s a routine they practice in every bar they go in!

    ‘Did they run out of holes?” What a great one-liner, except this isn’t Wednesday.

    Kindness through and through today. Bunnies, mockingbirds, bees all getting along. MuMu giving that fly directions! I love MuMu’s little belly!

    I love the photo you captioned ‘hot and hazy days’.

    Last but not least, Old Glory looking fresh and crisp even in the haze and heat/humidity.

    Keep as cool as you can this weekend Dan. Nothing in the forecast is favorable.
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you liked this post, Ginger. These posts are usually built around a healthy dose of fiction. The Swiss cheese and unfortunately the four women were true events. I increase my tip to help offset the stingy women, but it still makes me mad.

      The one-liner actually belongs to the Editor. When I told her about the stores being out of Swiss, she asked if they ran out of holes. She was happy to let David have the credit. I guess those women put me in a mood to bring kindness to the forefront this week.

      David, the real David who allowed me to use his name, is a very kind man. He lives in England, and is also suffering in the heat this week.

      I was so happy when that mockingbird stayed in one place long enough for me to get a picture. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized there were two of them in the frame – my lucky day!

      Try to stay cool – I hope you have a nice weekend.

      Like

  6. The heat situation seems unbearable Dan. I’m so sorry. We’re very fortunate here. For now. How sweet of David. I’m touched. And a lot less in trouble with management! (Did you really get that cheese from the bar?) I was going to suggest maybe Gouda or Provolone as a substitute. Sadly we stopped eating Sargento cheese in Florida after bad experiences with spoilage. Uggghh. Good dates, bad cheese. As a side note, cocktails haven’t gotten brutally expensive. I’ve resorted to the national beers here when drinking out and have my ‘good stuff’ at home. $7 for Jameson and club soda. I can get a whole bottle for $24. 😳Honestly, the rising costs of dining and drinking out is what has hurt tipping for wait staff. Some of us have very limited income. 😔

    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t actually get the cheese from them, but they have done things like that before, so I felt I had the creative license to go with it. I think the cosmos were $7.50 each – so $22.50 without a tip. The bartender says that people do seem to be subtracting the price increase from the tip. I am still making sure I tip well. These people work so hard, and they take all the abuse from the customers. I watched a guy get three shots of top shelf tequila ($12 each) and then leave a couple dollars for a tip. Something’s not right with that math.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel like most people who don’t tip are the ones who can afford it most. We have always tipped well when the service is good. If it’s substandard we give the standard amount. These folks make so little to start with. I can remember maybe once in our married life that we refused to leave a tip and the server was deplorable, not just having an off day. Isn’t it great to have a local place that knows you and feels like family?

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Yikes, those are strong drinks. Fun to see the “softer side” of David.
    When I read the prompt, my reaction was similar to yours. Crystal nagged me to move to the living room (then promptly left). While there ARE books in the room, they weren’t within reach of eye or arm. So my response would have been “Color: chocolate. Made in China.” LOL Your receipt made better reading.
    Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That made me smile! From my nice chilly apartment. It hit 43°C with the humidex (109F) the other day and I refuse to look to see what it is today. Call me a coward, I’m OK.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. That’s funny, I waited a very long time for my grass-fed beef pastrami to show up at a local store. Supply chain issues. It finally showed up again a month ago and that makes me so very happy. But no Swiss. I like mine without cheese. Is that blasphemy?

    It’s hot here too, Dan. Storms this evening, so I hope that cools things off and heads your way. Happy weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. We have been so lucky where I live… mid 70s mostly. I don’t doubt that things will warm up late August/September, but I’m enjoying the cooler temps for now. Cheryl is nicer than I am… I would have asked the other women to make up the difference… even though I know that was fiction, it still fried me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I got up at 6:00 am and it was in the 70s with 99% humidity today. The post is fiction, but I did witness an incident withe four women where one stiffed the bartender. I covered the shortfall with my bill, but her friends took separate checks and left. The bartender was caught off-guard by the whole thing.

      Enjoy your weather. We might cool off by Tuesday.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I loved the ending of this post. It’s been in the high nineties here as well this past week. We are definitely in the middle of summer now!

    Your Rose of Sharon is lovely, as are the birds, and bees. I thought it might be a push me-pull you bunny. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wanted to focus on kindness. As for the bunnies, I wasn’t sure what was in that yard at first. I have to take those photos from a distance (then I cross the street so they can keep eating). The mockingbirds were driving me crazy. They perched on what would have made beautiful photos (fences, trees, etc.) but moved as soon as I got ready to shoot. I didn’t know I had two of them in the frame until I got home.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This was absolutely wonderful! Everyone stepped in to pay it forward and were rewarded in a roundabout way. Just as it should be! Stay cool, Dan! My ‘sauna’ is in full gear today.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow – what, no Swiss cheese? Of course, in Wisconsin, we’re cheeseheads so I always assume we’ll have some kind of cheese available? Your bunny population is looking like mine…they are so abundant this year. Perhaps the bar should start selling Hasenpfeffer instead of clam chowder? Sorry…the scoundrels are so darn cute but are not on my I love them list anymore. Your flowers are looking great despite the heat. Yikes, you are in a heat wave – stay cool. Thanks for still venturing out to get photos for us and to capture the flag in the haze.

    Liked by 1 person

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