Out to Pastor: A discount by any other name

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I find too often I get all caught up with the busyness of life that I forget some things. For example, last week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I had birthdays.
Our birthdays are only two days apart, which is convenient for me. My birthday is first, and if my wife gets me anything for my birthday, it reminds me I need to get something for her birthday two days later. I could not plan it out any better had I tried.
When we celebrate our birthdays, I know which one I was celebrating but I’m not allowed to mention the one my wife was celebrating. I did that once, but I learned my lesson and I will never, ever do it, ever again. Did I mention ever?
Our week was so busy we really did not have time to formally celebrate our birthdays.
The following week, however, went a little bit slower and we had a day where by lunchtime we were finished. I suggested to my wife, “Why don’t we go out and celebrate our birthdays at some restaurant?”
“You,” I said, “pick out the restaurant you would like to go to and we’ll celebrate our birthdays together.”
She gets to pick the restaurant, I get to pick up the ticket.
At the restaurant, the hostess took us to our seat and gave us our menus.
Halfway through our meal the manager of the restaurant was going around greeting his customers. He came to our table and cheerfully said, “How’s everything going tonight?”
“This is the best,” I said, trying to hold back some giggles, “spaghetti I have ever eaten.”
Of course, the restaurant we were in did not serve spaghetti in any shape, size or form.
Without even blinking an eye, the manager said, “I’m so glad because we’ve been saving that spaghetti for the last six months just for you.”
That was just the beginning of our joking back and forth.
Our waitress came and served our meal and I still could not get away from my state of giggleization. So I said to her, “I was just talking to your manager, Michael, and he said if I mentioned to you how lovely you look today you would give me a discount on my bill.”
She looked at me and said, “Okay, I’ll talk to him about it and see what we can do.”
Then, she brought the bill for our birthday supper. As I looked at it, I noticed there was a discount line on our ticket. The discount was for one cent. I looked at it, showed it to my wife and we both burst out laughing. A penny discount, as my father used to say, is a penny in my pocket.
I took the ticket up to the cash register to pay it and the cashier looked at it and said, “What’s this?” pointing to the discount line on the ticket. She had no idea what it was.
“It is,” I said, holding back as much of my giggle as possible, “a discount on my meal for this evening.”
“A discount?” she said quizzically, “a discount for what?”
“Michael, the manager” I told her, “said if I told our waitress how lovely she looked tonight we would get a discount on our bill.”
I think that was the first time that ever happened in that restaurant and I’m so glad it happened when we were celebrating our birthday together.
We giggled all the way home that night and I was reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
Some people take life way too seriously. If you know what to laugh at, it certainly will medicate your soul to the point of joyfulness.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship in Ocala, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Call him at (866) 552-2543 or email jamessnyder2@att.net. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.