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by Al Batt
I went shopping with my lovely bride. Well, I really didn't go shopping with her. I went to a mall with her.
The mall was like a burlap bag to me. I didn't want to be in it. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have--unless I have to go shopping. Shopping is an accomplice to my discomfort.
She went shopping and I went to the geezer bench. The geezer bench is where many nonshopping husbands find themselves in a mall. The husbands take different roads to the same place--the geezer bench. We sit while our better halves search for sales offering one item for half the price of two. Very often, the men are holding their wives' purses as the women do something other than shop.
"They can have my wife's purse when they pry it from my cold, dead hands," I muttered bitterly.
We at the geezer bench find comfort in numbers. We herd together to combat the uneasiness we feel in a place far from our natural habitat. We hum the theme from "Mission Impossible."
We went from prom night to geezer bench in the blink of an eye.
We gathered at the bench to rest our weary legs and to share commonalities. We discussed important things while we sat. We conversed about the high-definition weather occurring outside. "Thou shalt talk about the weather" could be the Eleventh Commandment. We wondered why women don't find great joy in watching the Three Stooges. We asked why our eyebrows had suddenly gotten minds of their own and gone wild. We agreed that is isn't much fun to visit ancient ruins when they are younger than we are.
We didn't share these comments with our wives. Proverbs guides us thusly, "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind."
We find it safer to say things that make a bride's eyes roll. Things like, "Last night I dreamed I ate a ten-pound marshmallow and when I woke up my pillow was gone."
I followed my wife around a couple of stores. I whimpered quietly. I am a married man, so I have a single check in my wallet. Back in the days when I could dress myself, I used to carry an entire checkbook, but now I am down to one check. If you see a man pull the only check he has out of his billfold, he's a married man. Gertrude Stein said, "Money is always there, but the pockets change."
I stopped to look at a display of reading glasses. It turned out to be a display of watchbands. I should wear my eyeglasses when I'm looking at things that I think are eyeglasses.
I stopped at a home furnishings store and planted myself in a chair. I watched and listened to parents dealing with misbehaving children in the expensive, breakable stuff aisle. Parents are amazing creatures. A parent is someone who, in a public place, can yell in a whisper. The clerks left me alone. They could tell that I wasn't buying anything and was there for the single purpose of seeing what the cost was of the things I was not buying.
My wife moved on to a shoe store. I moved back to the geezer bench. I dodged the bullet of shopping for shoes with my wife. Good times.
I sat alone at the geezer bench as all the other geezers had been called home by their cell phones. I had no idea where my wife was. I must have looked unhappy as an acquaintance who I had not seen for some time stopped by and asked, "Al, you look so sad. What's wrong?"
I replied, "I lost my wife."
"Oh, no," said my visitor, her face contorted into one showing bereavement. "I hadn't heard. She was so young. I am so sorry for your loss."
I responded, "That's OK. It's no big deal. It's a big mall. She has a lot of places to hide, but I'll find her."
ŠAl Batt 2009
Send Al an e-mail and let him know what you thought of his story!
Al lives on a farm in Minnesota with his wife, Gail. Al is a writer, a newspaper columnist, a radio personality, a speaker and a storyteller.
Creation Q & A
Q: In England there was an appeal to restore Charles Darwin's house. How is this ironic?
A: There's a very important lesson for us all to learn about Charles Darwin's home being threatened by dereliction. The roof had fallen in on Darwin's lab; the main house had a leaky roof; the walls of the study were being attacked by dampness and woodworm: without a great deal of effort, this home will eventually become a total ruin.
There's a touch of irony to all of this. Darwin popularized the idea to millions and millions of people that everything has made itself, and that nature has, on a grand scale, organized matter from simple to complex... from chaos to cosmos!
But in reality, virtually every single scientific observation confirms that the very opposite is true. What we observe is that, because of the curse as a result of sin, everything that's left to itself tends to run down--just like Darwin's house!
Darwin's house won't rebuild itself--it will require a lot of intelligence and energy to improve it. Likewise, the infinite Creator God created the first man from dust. Darwin's decaying home should be a lesson to trust Genesis!
Click on the Bible above or visit the web site listed below!
This new addition to our web site will give you an article on the leading news in the
Creation/Evolution controversy each day. This section also includes a rotating
Question and Answer feature and a weekly Creation Comic strip from the people
at AnswersInGenesis.org. Be sure to come back and visit each day for an informative
article that will help you keep up to date on the latest news in this controversial area
Thought For The Day
"The man who sings his own praises always gets the wrong pitch."
Verse for the Day
"Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips." --Proverbs 27:2
Kid's Thought For The Day
"Squeeze the tube slowly, because once the toothpaste is out it's hard to get it back in."
Parent's Thought For The Day
"No need to worry about your teenagers when they're not at home. A national survey revealed that they all go to the same place --'out'-- and they all do the same thing -'nothing'." --Bruce Lansky
Coach's Thought For The Day
Too often we forget it is the players who do the competing. You never heard the word "I" so much as when coaches get together. Our challenge is to keep the focus off ourselves and work towards developing a cohesive team. We're all important to the overall effort, but none of us is irreplaceable. --Denny Raarup
Writer's Thought For The Day
"Forget the room of one's own -- write in the kitchen, lock yourself up in the bathroom. Write on the bus or the welfare line, on the job or during meals, between sleeping or waking. While you wash the floor or clothes listen to the words chanting in your body." --Gloria Anzaldua
Deep Thought For The Day
"I always wondered why babies spend so much time sucking their thumbs. Then I tasted baby food."
Inspired Audio -- Inspirational Audio Message of the Week!
Inspired Audio is a brand new offshoot of HeartTouchers.com. Every week we will offer a different audio message that you can listen to right on your computer as you are surfing the net or just getting things done around the house. Be sure to come back and visit each week!
This Week: "Sex in the City" by Jerry Dean
Over 175,000 people have listened to popular Chicken Soup Author Michael T. Powers' free inspirational message entitled: "Breathing Life into Others". If you aren't one of them just visit: http://www.HeartTouchers.com and click on the link to listen to the free streaming audio message.
Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business
"I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours
was filled with moments to be treasured forever!"
Let me make you a video from your photos! Check out my video production business by visiting:
Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?