Although I truly enjoy cooking, I also enjoy going to the Thai restaurant less than five minutes from my house. It’s my “Cheers,” you know the sitcom about the bar that ran on NBC from the early 80’s to the early 90’s. I don’t remember it being “political,” like so many television shows are now.
Cheers was good comedy and the reason that my Thai restaurant is my “Cheers” is not because I go there and drink, but because when I go in everyone knows my name. It is nice to be smiled at and spoken to and your humor laughed at. I’m sure my 12th grade English teacher would be cringing if she saw that last sentence.
Sometimes I do think that they don’t necessarily understand everything that I say. They speak and understand English very well, but they are not necessarily used to hearing it spoken with an Alabama brogue. So they smile and laugh a lot. I like that, as well as the food.
Being alone, I wasn’t in a hurry and I took my time making my stroll from my car to the front door. I passed a man, perhaps about my age, as he was walking with a lady who was hunched over and using a cane. As he held her by the arm, I could only presume that it was his mother.
As I got to the door, I stopped and waited, and opened the door for them both. They both said, “Thank you.” After they got in, I assumed my position at the bar, not to drink, but to play with the television that sits above the bar. In addition to smiling, laughing and knowing my name, they let me play with the remote control and even change the channels. You can kind of understand why I like going.
After sitting there a couple of minutes, the man walked up to me at the bar and told me again how much he appreciated my opening the door for him and his mother. I said, “Hush.” Sometimes people don’t know how to take a “hush,” but this fellow understood. He said, “I’m serious, people just don’t do that anymore.”
I didn’t say anything else. I didn’t talk about my Mama’s later years and how I understood or even that my Mama and Daddy taught me to do such things, I just thought about it being a shame. I guess folks are afraid they will offend someone if they open doors or say “Ma’am” or “Sir.”
Being alone, rather than getting take out, I sat at the bar and ate. A lady showed up waiting on take out and started talking to me. She told me how she travels two hours each weekend to take care of her boyfriend or whatever people call each other these days. Without being nosy and asking, she offered up that his sickness was terminal and I told her that I was sorry. Some conversations can be awkward, but she seemed to want to talk.
After explaining to me that they found out about his illness six months after they started going out together, I guess I found myself thinking that this sure was nice of this lady. She goes up on Fridays and takes him to the doctor, gets his groceries and checks on him. Realizing that I had heard someone say, “People just don’t do that anymore,” and then seeing that some folks actually do - kind of made me feel better.
We all want things to be better, people to act better and be respectful. I have fond memories of growing up and being carefree, doing things that I just wouldn’t do anymore. Some because of safety reasons, others because I’m more afraid of getting in trouble now than I was then.
So, I found myself in the Walmart the next day. Standing in front of the air rifles being educated on the various models by a clerk with an eye patch. It’s the truth, maybe it was a sign of some sorts.
Picking a Crossman, rather than the air pistol suggested by the one-eyed fellow, I stopped by the toy aisles and found a bag of plastic army men with some plastic mountains to hide behind.
I checked out at one of the side entrances where no one could see me. However, the fellow behind the cash register knew exactly what I had on my mind. He said, “We used to do that, I didn’t think people do that anymore.”
I said, “It’s been a long time, but I’m going to give it a shot or two.” He laughed.
CMT Column from the week of March 27, 2017, All Rights Reserved and Stuff like that..
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I'm BN Heard and I like semicolons, dogs and doing the things I've always done.
I will be back on stage April 30th hosting the Better Said Than Done show at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia.
Below is a video from the Barefoot 57s, a band formed by a group of Belmont University freshman, including my son. They play in and around Nashville, hopefully as their academic schedules permit.