Monday, September 21, 2015

On the bleachers

My daughter and I walked into the gym on Saturday afternoon, our eyes adjusting to the artificial light. The volleyball game was already in full swing so we scurried into our usual corner and climbed the bleachers to the very top row to watch.

A man well on in years sat on that same row, several scoots away. In a white t-shirt and outback hat, he watched with interest as we took our seats. I didn't know him.

It wasn't five minutes before he scooted over to us with a big smile on his face.

"Where on earth did that beautiful young lady come from?" he asked. "She is just pretty as a picture."

I gave him an answer and assured him that I was well aware of how adorable my daughter is and he scooted back to his place, carefully moving his legs around the garbage can strategically placed in the aisle of the bleachers. Less than five minutes later, he was back.

"She's just got to be the cutest girl I've ever seen," he said. "By the way, which one of the players is your daughter?"

He was old enough and eccentric enough that I wasn't insulted, even though I'm not nearly old enough to have a daughter in high school, am I? I'm only 32, by golly! Anyway, he narrowly avoided the garbage can and again scooted back to his place, but as you can probably guess he started back toward me in no time.

In his eagerness to ask me yet another question, he forgot to be careful around the garbage can this time. As he scooted closer, his orthopedic-shoed feet swung right into the can and knocked it loose. With a sharp, knocking sound it tipped and fell down the bleachers one step at a time...thump, thump, thump, all the way to the gym floor. We watched it happen but were both powerless to stop it.

"Oh," the man said, concern and surprise covering his face in equal amounts. "Looks like I kicked the bucket."

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