You Get What You Get And You Don't Pitch A Fit!

My father loved a good hot dog, and I loved any opportunity that would afford me the privilege of being in his presence–without being sent to my room. So whenever he'd asked me to join him on one of his Saturday afternoon excursions, I would jump at the chance. For the most part, these trips were simply just a quick visit to Uncle Bills, where we would scour the aisles in search of whatever tool, hardware or decorative accessory might enable him to escape into the basement to avoid spending time with his family. But if for any reason that visit didn't quench his handyman thirst, we would make our way back to the car and head over to his old standby–where we weresure to find whatever he wasn't looking for and wash it down with the cheapest hot dog you could imagine.
PictureWe'd walk hand-in-hand down the aisles–him eyeballing hammers, me smiling at the thought of a day without my brother. And while he would stand and debate over which drill he was never going to buy; I would wait patiently, listening to the comforting sound of coins that he kept jingling in his front pocket with his indecisive hand. "Hmmm," he would sigh, "I'm gonna have to THINK about that!" If thinking were a paying gig, my father would have been a millionaire. He thought way more than he ever spoke and he could pretty much talk himself out of any unnecessary purchase, especially if it was more than five bucks.

In the back of the store was a little soda fountain where they sold hot dogs, popcorn and several other artery-clogging snacks. I opted for an ice cream that day, while my father kindly asked for his usual, "Hot dog with mustard, please." Without so much as a flinch to acknowledge his request, the woman behind the counter shuffled over to the display and penciled a thin line of mustard over the top of his lunch. She then waddled back over and tossed it on the counter in front of us, "Twenty-nine cents!" she grunted. My father, displeased with the level of condiments that she elected to garnish his dog with, simply chuckled and said, "Gee, do you think I could get a little more mustard on that?" 

Before he could take back his witty retort, she grabbed his hot dog off the counter and marched across the room. And while staring him down with her furrowed and angry brow, she pumped the container with every ounce of her 60-year-old muscle and squirted mustard everywhere. Then she stomped back over to the register and stuck out her yellow-coated paw, holding what used to be his lunch... ""Twenty-nine cents!" 

"Glad I didn't order the Chili!" he laughed... But they both knew he wasn't joking.