M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Tuesday, August 19, 2003  

Wreath Havoc

We were sitting around the table at the karaoke bar the other night with Trash’s brother and his wife, and we remembered a story from many years ago.

This is back when we were still living in downtown Minneapolis. We’d decided to have a Christmas party in our complex’s party room. It was a really nice party room, but the downside was that it was in another building. Schlepping all the food, beverages and decorations to the next city block over the course of the afternoon became somewhat tedious.

Fortunately, Trash’s brother was there, home from the Army, and eager to help out. It was quite handy to have him around to cart over the dessert trays, beer coolers, coffee urn, and buffet table while Trash and I caught up on our nap. He wasn’t quite so eager towards the end.

The last thing he had to bring over was a gigantic pine Christmas wreath. The thing was almost as tall as him. So there he was, hauling it down the sidewalk along Hennepin Avenue in the wind and freezing weather.

Coming towards him in the other direction was a somewhat disreputable-looking character. As they passed each other, the man didn’t say anything to my brother-in-law, or look at him, or even break his stride. But suddenly by brother-in-law was empty-handed, the wreath had reversed direction, and a skanky-looking dude was one wreath richer.

My brother-in-law might normally have been intimidated by this fellow’s somewhat desperate appearance, but he was in a grouchy mood after several hours of carrying a party to the next building one armload at a time. He dashed back to the guy, grabbed the wreath back, and snapped “Get your own wreath!” The thief shrugged, said not a word, and went on his way.

What I love about this story is my brother-in-law’s remark. Most people would say, “Hey!” or “What are you doing?” or maybe even “Give that back!” BIL’s statement was outstanding in its efficiency. It skipped right past the first response, implicitly acknowledged the answer to the second one, and offered a feasible solution to the guy’s imminent return to a state of wreathlessness.

I also like how he didn’t question the guy’s wish to have a wreath. Of course everyone wants a giant wreath to brighten up their space. Whether that space is inside an expensive apartment complex or next to a bridge support a couple of blocks away, a six-foot circle of deciduous branches imparts holiday cheer and warmth. My brother-in-law didn’t begrudge anyone’s desire to have a six-foot wreath of their own, or judge it an unworthy goal for his fellow man. He merely pointed out that the way the man was going about it was only going to lead to disappointment and failure.

Feel free to share this inspirational tale with your friends. Or, better yet, get your own inspirational tale.

* * *

Hey, did you know I’m going to be on a panel at JournalCon? It’s true. I’m all set. I’ve got my plane tickets, my hotel reservations, and a kicky little Kevlar number for my gig on “Raw is War: Blogs vs. Journals” discussion that is likely to devolve into a live-action version of Unreal Tournament. I’m not renting a car, but know this: if anyone at JournalCon makes a pilgrimage to the Salt Lick and doesn’t bring me I’m going to be hella pissed.

Today’s best search phrase: “Dolphins barn hurling.” Wow, they can train those clever little beasties to do just about anything these days.

posted by M. Giant 4:07 PM 0 comments


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