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The Hotel West Virginia (Pain it Forward)

The Hotel West Virginia (Pain it Forward)

You’ve heard the phrase “pay it forward?” This isn’t one of those stories. This is “pain it forward” story. Maybe after you read it, you can relate.

So, I’m checking into a hotel in Morgantown, West Virginia. After the usual presenting of the identification, dispensing of the keys, and whatnot, the person helping stepped from behind the counter to point out the elevator and amenities. When she got to the fitness facilities, things went off the rails. She went from “the elevators are over there to the left,” to saying, “and if you’re interested,” paused, glanced me up and down, “we have a fitness center.”

She didn’t even bother to tell me where it was! She was so sure I wouldn’t get anywhere near there, that she skipped the directions. Now, of course, I wasn’t planning to go, but she didn’t know that. And yes, I’m out of shape. But for all she knew, I could have been halfway to some spectacular weight loss goal (I’m not).

Now what honked me off even more was there was a woman in line next to me who got a completely different treatment. She looked like a fitness model. She was even wearing fitness apparel! The guy helping her practically offered to escort to the gym, hold the towel, and punch the buttons on the treadmill for her.

Mike Runs Towards Disasters (Including the Ones He Creates)

Mike Runs Towards Disasters (Including the Ones He Creates)

Mike is a “seasoned Marketing professional.” I know that because Mike’s LinkedIn profile leads with that fact. (I’m not sure why marketing is capitalized, but that might be nitpicking) The reason I’m writing about Mike today is that he has contacted me twice in the last week because he would love to contribute an article to the website of one of my nonprofit clients. Did I mention that Mike thinks my name is Alexandria?

Did I mention that Mike thinks my name is Alexandria? I know I went to the women’s restroom at a truckstop on my way back from Memphis a couple of weeks ago, but it had nothing to do with the current bathroom debate. The men’s room was out of order and my wife and sister-in-law stood guard. I’m not transitioning to Alexandria. And if I was, I would choose a better name.

Pumpkin Pie, Thaddeus Green, and the Origin of the Kiddie Table

Pumpkin Pie, Thaddeus Green, and the Origin of the Kiddie Table

2112894143_288eae1a3fYou’re probably going to be offended by this (Especially if you are a pumpkin pie fan). But the truth must be shared to the masses. And that truth is this: pumpkin pie was a compromise. Pumpkin pie made it into our Thanksgiving tradition only as a measure of last resort. It’s not what was meant to be.

“You had one job to do!”

It all began at the first Thanksgiving. Thaddeus Green and his family will not show up on any list of the Mayflower passengers in any history book or a museum. There is a reason for that. Thaddeus was the most hated man in the New World. You see it was Green’s singular task to make sure the boat had chocolate on it. Instead, the night before the Puritans sailed to the New World and said goodbye to the sin and debauchery of merry Old England, Green decided to have one last evening of sin and debauchery. Green was much more committed to the sin and debauchery than the loading of the chocolate.

“There is no pumpkin recipe that wasn’t born out of a want for chocolate.”

So, when the Pilgrims got to Plymouth and unloaded, there was no chocolate. No chocolate for pie, for cake, for smores, and cookies. The Pilgrims were devastated. So, when Thanksgiving rolled around, they had to improvise. And that’s how we got pumpkin pie. They also decided to use pumpkin as a compromise with other things like pumpkin bread for chocolate cake, pumpkin spice latte for hot chocolate, etc. There is no pumpkin recipe that wasn’t born out of a want for chocolate.

The Pilgrims were so mad at Green and his family, they wouldn’t let them sit at the large banquet table for that first Thanksgiving. Instead, they had to sit at a small table that was half as high as the rest. When the Native American Chief inquired about the strange family that was being shamed at the small table, William Bradford replied, “They are the reason we only have pumpkin pie for desert.”

The Chief pondered this for a moment, called for his bow, and fired an arrow through the heart of Green. The Chief really had his heart set on chocolate pie. The Pilgrims cheered the death of Green but immediately sent a boat back to England to get chocolate before the next Thanksgiving. That boat sank and Native/Pilgrim relations were never the same.

So, when you reach for the pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, remember it was a compromise. It is a lesser pie. Be sure to offer a chocolate or pecan pie as an alternative. Or make sure none of your guests are packing a bow.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Carry on, Citizens!

photo credit: pumpkin pie via photopin (license)

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A Tradition of Giving

A Tradition of Giving

When you go to a dinner party, the proper thing to do is bring a gift. I’m not sure who started this tradition, but I’m assured by my wife that this is indeed a proper tradition that society expects of us. And I want to be part of society. I think.

It’s not that I’m stingy. It’s just that I’ve had my share of gift giving faux pas over the years. Like the time I was told to bring wine to a dinner party. I’m not a wine guy. I can’t tell you which wine goes with fish or pork or spam. I know that some are red and some are white. I know that the stuff that comes out of a box is supposedly not as marvelous as the stuff you can’t pronounce and costs $100 per bottle.

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