How One Stomach, Some Parched Peanuts Almost Cost One Man His Life, Wife, and Job
Life is not a game of precision or finely-honed blades. Life happens and can engulf every living thing. Some, ignoring the gift of life, let "hate" poison the very innocent, happy fabric of life, then rendering it useless. It is the people who embrace life, solve what puzzles that they can, and let the rest lie. I hope that you will find humor, serious editorialism, and pride in this narrative. Thanks in advance. Kenneth.
Do you Remember
"that" particular time when you worked yourself to a tizzy taking chase with a very powerful client whose name signed on the contract you are hoping to give him, will set you up for at least three years thanks to the hefty commission?
The place, time, and menu have already been agreed on. You thought of everything. You cannot afford the smallest of mistakes in "this" meeting that you have worked for in the previous two months--and now, it will pay you big dividends just by letting the new client (whom you have chased) sign your sales contract. Your life is about to change and in a very big way.
The hands are shook and introductions between you, your wife, and the new client and his wife are now set in order and the new client notices that you have placed him and the wife in the best place of this steak house. It's the little things that a client likes, thanks to you listening to a now-retired sales guru who won every Sales Title that your company has to offer. Now his advice to you will work "if" you just relax and go with the flow.
The Trouble is Little
but oh, how big and angry "this" trouble will be to you, the wife and your client and his wife in just a few minutes. You fill-in the time awaiting the waiter to get you the food choices by doing some "Shop Talk," the Sales Guru also shared with you. The client is happy and all aglow. Even by his appearance, it looks like you will be the next salesman in your company to take on Salesman of The Year title that will be handed-out in just a few months.
There it is. You feel a gentle movement in the pit of your stomach. Just nerves, you think, trying to reassure yourself because "this" is The Most Important meeting you are going to have in your career that has spanned over 32 years--sure, you have been on point for the Second and Third Places of Sales Awards, but tonight's sale will easily make you The Top Dog in your Sales Department and oh, how happy you and the wife are about this moment.
There is goes again. Now there is a stronger movement in your stomach followed by a low growl that sounds a lot like a cat that is fast asleep. What is worrying you right now is does anyone at the table know what is going on with your insides? You laugh extra-loud at the client's one-liners and in one instance your laugh was a mistake because the client was serious about his minister finding a pig with two heads behind the dumpster at some restaurant where he and the wife lives.
You apologize, of course. Then offer the client your prayers for his minister because this would be the first sighting of a two-headed pig made by anyone. Okay, back to normal with more "Shop Talk," and when the talk gets to rolling, the waiter and his helper brings back some of the most-delicious food that is on God's green earth. But . . .before you can say a word, there "that" growl goes off again and this time, your wife hears it, but does not let on because she wants you to win "this"biggest contract so she can buy a new washer and dryer that she has needed for so long.
Now Comes the Pain
in your belly. It gnaws at your stomach lining as if a beaver were in your insides trying to chew his way out of your intestines--and you cannot help but hold your stomach with two hands as the client now sees you in agony and says: "son, is something wrong?"
"No, sir. Just a bit of indigestion. Nothing to worry about," you say softly and making everyone at the table feel no alarm. But you know as the client himself knows, "this" is not your average indigestion. This is a beast-of-a-digestion problem is ugly as well as mean, and will grow bigger, sir."
"Very well, then. Let's eat," your client says very rigid and frankly, the items that all of you ordered was some of the best eating that you had eaten in months. "I see that in your Press Hand-out that you graduated from The University of Texas."
So there is some Common Ground. Your plan now is to finish the meal, sign the contracts, and head home--but this internal gnawing and unsettling is now cause for alarm. You do NOT know the cause of the problem. Your appendix was removed years ago, and now, you can only hope that you can make it through the meal and then home or the doctor whichever hurts the most.
"Now, let's take a look at this . . .(your client interrupts).
"Sir, let me explain and I will be glad to do that, but I have to go the rest room and I mean FAST," you say holding your stomach.
"Does your husband suffer with this type of ailment?" your client asks your wife.
While you are in the rest room, you examine yourself in the mirror and see that one side of your stomach appears to be a huge Python coiling itself around and around inside yourself and there is this growing heat that is sending your body into fits because your nerves cannot cope with this problem.
Then, out of nowhere, it quits. Looks as if the snake-like problem has moved or died and your stomach does not look swelled at all.
You couldn't be happier. A nice wash of your face, comb to the hair and you are ready for action. You even whistle as you briskly walk back to your table. The wives and your client all smile back at you and you know that things are going to be fine.
"I looked over your contracts, son, and I think we can do business!" the client says with a face that is beaming with pride.
"Oh, sir. I, uhhh, cannot tell you . . .NO! Not here . . .(guess what?) . . .
Talk about a Snake in The Grass! Before you could shake your client's hand, "the" problem with your insides comes back and throws you to the air like a kite in March, then to the floor like a TV wrestler. The other patrons gasp in disbelief. The wife and your client are in shock to say nothing about your wife who is also standing and gazing at you as you wrestle with your waist and trying to get a hold on whatever it is that is inside of you.
Just When Things Looked Darkest
a light appears. Your client quickly asks: "Is there a doctor in the place?" Then you hear a yes to the end of the room. Your wife as well as the client and his wife are very relieved for you were about to head to the Pearly Gates.
The doctor quickly examines you and hands you this bottle of what looks to be a bottle of chocolate milk. "Drink it!" the doctor orders. "Now!" And within minutes, you feel a big belch come rumbling from your insides all the way through your mouth until the area is filled with a gaseous-like mist that smells to High Heaven and after 10 minutes of heaving and belching, you are okay. The rest of the patrons stand up and applaud. Some even whistle. Medical Science or Miracle has been witnessed.
"Thank you, doctor, for saving my life. I mean it," you say hugging him and even your new client is happy as well that you lived long enough to be doing business with him for years.
"By the way, doctor. What was the cause of this problem?" you ask. "Among all of the good things that make-up your personality, your curiosity is what makes you tick.
"Do you know what you were eating at home before you and your lovely wife met this man and his wife here at this restaurant?" the doctor says bending over and picking up something from the floor.
"No, sir. Can't say that I can," you order and filled with unsurity.
"Parched peanuts. This is what caused your indigestion, but I suspect that "these" peanuts that you parched this evening are from Beaumont, Texas, not Abilene, am I right?" the doctor explains.
"Uhhh, yeah. Now I remember telling my wife that she had heard of a huge sale on raw peanuts that was selling them cheaper by the 50 pound bag and that is what we did," you say looking equally prideful.
"I am not horticulturist, son, but if you are going to eat peanuts, buy them from Beaumont. Over in Abilene, I heard that when these peanuts were planted, the farmers used a new insecticide that helped to keep the bugs away and well, that poison and the peanuts did not go well inside of YOUR gut," the doctor said.
"So it wasn't a mad Python that was about to squeeze me to death?" you ask laughing at the client, his wife, your wife and the doctor.
"No, haw, haw. Not at all. Oh, I'm going to need you go give me $250.00 please for the medical call," the doctor says handing out his hand.
"$250 dollars? But I didn't go to any emergency room," you argue.
"But you think that because I saved your life in this steak house that I should do this service for FREE?" the doctor says.
"Uhhh, not really," you reply digging for money in your wallet.
"Son, one more thing: that kind of thinking makes you some kind of idiot."
"Oh, before we go, here's the bill for that fine steak dinner, son. We loved it and you will be hearing from us next week," the new client says as he smiles and walks away with this bill of $320 dollars in your hand. Yep. You get to buy the dinner for everyone, plus the medical service."
You are now very sad and look at your pretty wife and say: "Do you still love me?"
"I think that you are some kind of a chump."
_______________________________________March 29, 2018.
© 2018 Kenneth Avery