I Got a Lump of Coal


Have you ever expected something to be wonderful and in reality, it never came close to your expectations? I remember vividly an incident that happened to me when I was in college. I was working in broadcast radio. The station had the broadcast wattage of a light bulb. Somehow, somewhere, an old lady became my number one fan. She would call me for requests, ask me to come to her home for a home cooked meal, and I did. Numerous times I trekked to a little one horse town in north central Texas and sat at her table to eat her cooking. She was a lovely lady who was extremely petite. Her home was built by her husband who had been barely five feet tall, so it was like visiting the “Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.” The ceilings in her home were only just higher than 6 feet tall.

Being the motherly type, she was always trying to “find” me a girl. One day she called me at my radio station all excited, she had found the sweetest girl for me. Hesitant on my part, she insisted on coming to the station to personally introduce her to me. A few hours later as my shift ended, she came to the station to lead me out to the parking lot. As my eyes fell on the young woman I thought, “I’m sure she is lovely”, but if I had taken her on a date to see Mt. Rushmore, I wouldn’t have been able to see Mt. Rushmore. She made me look like a pipe cleaner. Needless to say, despite the exchanging of pleasantries I never took up her invitation to call her again. I envisioned our first date at the Mighty Burger where, like the Flintstones, they would deliver the Brontosaurus Burger on a tray that clips to the car window and promptly the car tips over from the weight. I learned a powerful lesson on false expectations that day.

Some months ago, I received a letter from a law firm. It sounded too good to be true. A major bank I had done business with in the past, had been sued for illegally charging unfair bounced check fees. The bank had willfully withheld funds, manipulated deposits, and gave delayed information to the consumer in hopes that the consumer would bounce checks and the bank would garner higher fees. The letter from a distant law firm had said that my name had been added to a class-action lawsuit and I would share in the claim of the ill-gotten funds.

The letter left me smiling. I heard the birds singing more loudly, the flowers looked more lovely, my wife more ravishing. I was giddy. The wait for news seemed to take forever. Months passed as I anxiously awaited what my portion of the booty would be. The letter finally arrived last week. My heart rate accelerated as I envisioned what I could buy with my money. Maybe a nice small gift for my wife, or maybe I could pay off a bill. As I opened the letter from the firm of Dewey, Cheatem, & How, my eyes fell directly on the amount. I was stunned; I couldn’t believe the amount. Where would I spend my whole $2.18? I was going to write to the trial lawyers and tell them to keep the coal since I got the shaft, but they’re not in. I think they’re working hard on their tans in a tropical location, grinning from ear to ear.

About enthusiasmiscontagious

I am an individual who analyzes all facets of life in the hopes of squeezing out some of the humorous parts.
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