|I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
At lunch, I noticed that the new waiter at my favorite restaurant kept
looking at me and smiling. It was a lingering look, as if he
wanted to say something. But it wasn't until I was signing the
credit card receipt that he worked up his nerve:
"Are you ever in Wilmington?" he asked hesitantly, his eyes studying my
face with equal amounts of boldness and terror. His eyes reminded
me of Don Knotts; I could see the mustered-up self-confidence begin to
tremble under its own weight.
"No, never been there," I replied, wondering why he asked.
"You look just like my friend Tom. He lives in Wilmington.
He has the same hair style, same face, same ..." He paused,
looking me up and down. "Same everything!"
I assumed that "everything" referred to my taste in clothing.
I chuckled, muttering something about needing to meet my clone some
day. But my mind was reeling from the UNSPOKEN question that the
waiter seemed to be asking: "Are you my friend? Are you Tom?"
The waiter kept staring at me with those Don Knotts eyes, as if still
suspecting I was indeed Tom from Wilmington. Deputy sheriff
Barney Fife was determined to crack this case of false identity.
I got the hell out of there.
Later, the cashier at the hardware store bid me farewell with these
words: "Have a sparkling day," spoken in a slow monotone -- a depressed
drawl. The words and delivery were so incongruous that it was all
I could do not to laugh before I left the building! Plus, it was
the very first time in my life that anyone had wished me a "sparkling"