Partly Nonsense

Forgetting to do something isn’t always bad.

Early Friday morning I was sorting through the papers and notes that had accumulated on my desk to see what I might have overlooked. There I spotted a note that I was supposed to schedule a shipment of books from Wichita to Kansas City to arrive on May 28 or 29. It was already May 31!

Immediately I began to sweat and make plans to call to explain that I had forgotten and to see what I could do to make it right. Then, not five minutes later, the phone rings and it was my customer calling to see if I could wait to ship the books until June 10 since she was going to be out of town.

Whew! Great timing.

Since I’m on the subject of books, I often think of something I did nearly 35 years ago that still bugs me a great deal. I was working right out of college for American Yearbook Company in Cambridge, Md., as a yearbook consultant and quality-control supervisor.

My job was to keep school yearbooks running smoothly through the printing plant. If there was a problem, I would either call the salesman or the school, depending upon what was needed to fix it.

I discovered that one of the yearbook orders scheduled to ship to a Catholic School in Florida was missing the cover and wouldn’t make it in time for the party that was scheduled based upon the promised ship date.

The reason was the salesman had failed to order the covers, even though everything else was ready. I called him and suggested that he call the school and tell them what had happened. He refused to do it and told me to call them and say the cover was made wrong and that it would take two weeks to fix it.

Against my better judgment I called a nun, no less, and told her the lie. She even thanked me for being so honest. I have always regretted doing that, and that lesson about honesty has never left me.

I can’t resist telling this one. Grandson Alex was riding in the car with his dad when they spotted a Schwann’s truck in the neighborhood. Son-in-law George made the comment that Grandma and Grandpa in Kansas used to buy some food from the Schwann’s truck.

So then Alex asked why his family didn’t buy any food from the truck. George said they bought food at the supermarket because the selection was so much better.

The 4-year-old pondered that for a moment and then said, “Yeah, that truck is pretty small.”

“Hey, waiter, what’s this dead fly doing in my soup?”

“It’s the boiling water that kills them, sir.”

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