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.