Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

$100 at Mickey D’s!?

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   Warm welcomes are always, er, welcome. However, there are certain places where the welcomes, though a nice gesture on the part of management, are less then welcome. I’m speaking of places such as ‘Toys-R, Us’ and local hamburger chains.

   The reasons for this exuberant display of tearful joy are named, Queenie, Jumpin’ Jake, Sunny Jim, Peanut, Doc, Paddy, Stretch and Whisper. These are my eight grandkids.

   At this point I am not going to tell you how wonderful my grandkids are. I can say, with all sincerity, I have been bored stiff by tales of grandparents who go to endless lengths explaining that refrigerator art produced by their grandkids rivals Da Vinci and Michangelo, they can compose music comparable to Brahms and Bizet, bring about world peace and cure cancer, all before nap time is unendurable. My grandkids are kids.

   By way of example Queenie earned her nick-name by winning local beauty contests. However, since the places where she won those competitions are very rural, the ability to clean fish, spit dip at long distances with accuracy and operate 4X4s at high speed over rough terrain without spilling her Nehi count high on the judging scales. Confederate Battle Flag tattoo placement also adds points.

   Let us get back to the welcoming committee issue. Since I have eight grandkids the folks at ‘Toys’ just love the daylights out of me. They know the grandkid’s birthdays better than I do. They call in advance to remind me and send a car around to pick me up. Come Christmas they usually have the ‘Toys-R-Us’ Marching Band’ waiting in the parking lot to welcome me. The store manager and various highly placed TRU brass is on hand.

    They put me in gold plated rickshaw and pull me around the aisles with guys in cartoon outfits followed by a train of shopping charts. The bad part is that looking at furry Smurf butts lacks charm. I do get a perk, wrapping and shipping is free, however the shipping guys are going to put in serious overtime.

   What can I say about hamburger chain welcomes? Under normal circumstances $100 will feed between 20 and 25 adults. I show up with the ‘Eight Bottomless Pits’ and 100 bucks doesn’t even come close. They look up at the menu and say, “OK”.  The guys and gals at the grills and fryers are going to earn their pay that day.

   I never thought that a school of piranhas could be outdone, but these kids make them look like they are on a hunger strike. In the words of Rodney Dangerfield, “Try not to get anything on the walls.” I’m stuck laying out ‘C’ notes until the burp echoes die down and the heavy breathing from the kitchen stops. I usually just have a cup of coffee.

   If you don’t believe me, the next time you are in the parking lot look at the parking signs. The one that says “Jim McGowan and family” is closer to the door than the handicap places. © 2009, Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

July 15, 2009 at 4:42 p07

Posted in Americana, Humor

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