Hey, Robert, How Can We Change the World?
Yesterday, Robert Hruzek’s email arrived in my inbox with a question. Do you think this might make a Change the World story? I read it though and wrote back immediately. It’s obvious that my answer was to the affirmative.
So I’m passing along this actual event from the lives of our own, Mr. Middle Zone Musings and his dear lady. The narrative offers a twist for the ending. It carries Mr. Musing’s thoughts on how the world might be.
Choose the Ending
by Robert Hruzek
You know, it’s easy to say what one would do in a certain situation, isn’t it? To paint a rosy picture that “surely” would have been, had it really happened (yes, I know — don’t call you Shirley).
C’mon, admit it; we all like to think the best of ourselves. And you know what? We should have a positive self-talk and self-image; that’s just good mental health. But what’s the reality?
Allow me to paint a scene for you.
The other day Mrs. MZM and I had lunch at one of our favorite beaneries, Cafe Express. It’s one of those (relatively) new kinds of restaurants where you place your order, wait for your pager to buzz, and then pick the food up yourself. Condiments are over here, drinks are over there; help yourself, and thank you very much. (Hey, I’m not complaining; I happen to like it.)
We decided to eat outside on the patio so we could enjoy the beautiful weather we were having; a nice little umbrella-covered table in the corner was perfect. We had just barely gotten settled when the little flat wireless-radio-controlled-butt-massage-thingy (I always put it in a back pocket — it provides a cheap thrill!) went off, so off I went to collect our food.
And finally, to complete the scene, there was a bus boy cleaning the table next to ours.
OK, got the picture? So here we goâ€¦
As I returned and approached our table, I was still a few feet away when we heard a medium-loud “pop” (sort of like a “quiet” firecracker). We both looked around to see what made the unusual noise, but nothing was obvious — no cars passing by (there was a street right next to us), no pedestrians within reasonable distance, and no one sitting nearby seemed to notice — there was nothin’.
Oh, well. I sat down and we prepared to eat — and then I noticed a tiny white dot on Mrs. MZM’s left cheek! I looked again, and there were more white dots on her face — along with several in her hair, on her blouse, the pants she had on! Finally, as our eyes followed the trail of white dots down to the ground, we saw what had made the sound.
It was a mayonnaise packet.
Yep, thatâ€™s right, ladies and gentlemen; yours truly had sprayed mayonnaise (and with explosive force, no less) all over Mrs. MZM when I had stepped on a packet inadvertently dropped by the bus boy. In fact, we found even more of the white stuff all over my shoe, the table, the chair I had already sat in, and judging from the spray pattern, no doubt the buildings across the street!
Sheesh! Now what?
Possible Ending #1
Mrs. MZM jumped up with an angry exclamation and attempted to dab the offending condiment off her clothes, her hair, and her glasses. Her frustration was obvious to the neighboring tables as she did her best to recover with some sort of dignity. Alas, it was a losing proposition.
There was nothing that could be done about the prominent stains on her clothes, though. Well *sigh* at least it had started out as a beautiful day!
Possible Ending #2
Once we realized what had happened â€“ Mrs. MZM burst out laughing!
We then spent a hilarious few minutes checking each other over for tiny white dots (the folks at the table next to us probably thought we were inventing a new dance step), just to make sure we got them all.
Finally, we sat down again and munched happily on our burgers, enjoying the rest of the beautiful day.
The Power to Choose
So lemme ask ya!
If you had the power to choose, then which one of these endings would you have picked?
OK, got it? All those who chose # 1, raise your hand. Fine, now all those who went for #2? Hmmm! seems kinda lopsided to me. Amazing how we all seemed to choose the happy ending.
But here’s the real money question:
If this had happened to you, which ending would have ACTUALLY happened?
Extra Special Super Duper Bonus Points:
To make it really fun, ask a friend to answer the question for you!
So what really happened, you ask? Well, it was exactly as presented above, with ending #2, of course! Ah, Mrs. MZM – ya gotta love her!
Lucky for me it didn’t spray all over some big bruiser suffering from hemorrhoids and bristling with a bad attitude because his favorite team had just lost a key game – I might have been hurt!
–Robert Hruzek, Middle Zone Musings
We can change the world — just like that. Thank you, Robert!
–ME “Liz” Strauss