Hello, Daniel . . .

I stopped by my friendly, neighborhood Kwik Shop (as I do just about every morning) for 52 ounces of ice cold caffeine and the following happened . . .

Man 1 (we'll call him George) was in the store when I entered. He is in his late-40s. Married (or at least wears a gold band on his left hand). He is ghostly white, balding, wearing a flannel shirt and dungarees (we call them jeans - I'd bet all the soda in my vat that he calls 'em dungarees) and work boots. He has a bible tucked under his left arm (KJV, I presume) for NO apparent reason. He's getting coffee and eating his Krispy Kreme donut at the same time.  Yes. I really notice all these things on total strangers - if you're not trying to observe and read people, you're not really playing the game of life.

Man 2 (we'll call him Daniel) is in his early-20s. He enters the store rather hastily. He has long hair tucked behind his ears. He wears a Shocker t-shirt, torn jeans, canvas tenny-runners, and an unzipped fleece vest. He is clearly in a hurry and is ignoring a phone ringing in his pocket.

George looks over his shoulder and says, somewhat loudly and with a false tone of friendliness "Well! Good morning, Daniel."

The kid makes bemused eye contact but says nothing and b-lines to the soda coolers.

George follows half-way and yells - false friendliness gone and his pale facial skin suddenly flush with annoyance "Good MORNING, Daniel."

Daniel looks, again, but says nothing. He selects a Cherry Coke Zero and a blue Powerade Zero (my kind of fella - you know what I mean) and immediately opens the soda and starts drinking.

George irately booms "You know, Daniel, you can knock my daughter Amy up and take no responsibility and you can move on with your life and ignore your child while we raise her but you can't ignore a courteous 'hello' in the gas station - I'm trying here. We're ALL trying here."

Daniel (who is now full on freaked out and yet humored) smiles from ear to ear and looks George in the eye and simply says "Good morning, sir. I am sorry you perceived me as rude. But you should know I'm Scott, not Daniel. I know a few Amys but have never had sex with any of them. I have no children and would never deny them if I did. Also - your second 'hello" was far, far from courteous. Let me buy you your donut and coffee on Daniel's behalf."

George . . . . crickets.

Annnnnnnnd scene!