The Ugly Old Man

A few years ago, I took my daughter, Hannah, to Perkins Restaurant for a daddy-daughter date.

As we finished the last of our french fries, I waved down the waitress and asked for the bill. She smiled and said, "I have good news! Somebody else in the room paid it for you this evening."

"Who?" I wondered.

"Well, he said if you insisted on knowing, blame it on the old ugly man sitting across the dining room."

"Sitting where?" I asked.

She furtively nodded in the general direction. I glanced around the restaurant, and right away, I spotted Don, one of my parishioners, having dinner with his wife.

I strode across the dining room, and greeted Don cheerfully: "Thanks a million, you ugly old man, you!"

The startled expressions on their faces immediately informed me that I had made a big mistake! I'd picked the wrong ugly old man to thank!

"I beg your pardon?"

"Er. . . but. . . the waitress said. . ." I tried to explain with a red face, but the hole kept getting deeper. Finally, I quit digging. There was no graceful way out of this one.

Tom, another parishioner, sitting in a booth two tables away, roared with laughter, while his wife, Joan, rolled her eyes with a grin.

"That was the best entertainment I've had in years!" he hooted and slapped his knee. "Definitely worth the cost of a dinner!"

I made a hasty exit.

A few days later, Don's wife came by the church office.

"I really don't think your husband is an ugly old man. . . honest."

She just grinned.

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