Friday, December 26, 2008

The Christmas wrench!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas (I did) and I'd like to share the story I'll remember from this year.

Well, there are two of them actually -- one involves a wrench and the other involves boysenberry syrup. I'll start with a little story I like to call The Christmas Wrench.

On Christmas Eve, my wife prepared sweet potatoes and ground up the peelings in our garbage disposal. The lines between the garbage disposal and the wall clogged because, as I learned from doing some research on the Internet, sweet potato peelings are hard on disposals.

So, I needed to get a plumber's wrench so I could pull the pipes apart and get rid of the clog. The problem, of course, was that it was Christmas Eve and all the stores were closed.

Fortunately, Wal-Mart was open when I headed out at about 5:55 p.m. I got to the store and was turned away by this fellow -- the store closed at 6 p.m. and I showed up right about that time.

I said, "But, the cash registers are still going!"

He said the registers would be open until 6:15 p.m. to check out everyone who was in the store. That's all I needed to know.

A lady showed up and distracted the fellow by going through some hysterical tale about how she just had to get in Wal-Mart to buy a last minute present. While he was dealing with her, I slipped into the store.

Heh, heh!

While I was running to the hardware section, I started to wonder if I was doing the right thing. I mean, I essentially sneaked into a Wal-Mart to go buy a wrench. No matter, however. I grabbed my wrench and checked out by 6:10 p.m.

I didn't make eye contact with the guy who tried to block me from coming in the store. I was able to use the wrench on the kitchen sink and get rid of the clog so my wife could keep making Christmas dinner. That was a very good thing as we had a lot of family members over for Christmas dinner.

Yes, that wrench saved Christmas. Sometimes, then, being sneaky is a good thing.

Finally, boysenberry syrup!

Last month, I posted a rant about the fact that boysenberry syrup wasn't available at the IHOP here in scenic Benton, Ark. You can't get any at the IHOPs in Little Rock, either, and I've been furious about it.

I dashed off an e-mail and got a reply from IHOP informing me that individual IHOPs could choose to carry the syrup, even though many of them don't. My little brother and his wife live in Greensboro, N.C., and the IHOP they go to does carry the wonderful syrup.

So, what did they do? They bought a gallon of the stuff and sent it to me with one of those plastic bears that usually contain honey. I got an IHOP gift card, too.

My brother and sister-in-law tell me that I'm all set up to go to IHOP and take my own syrup with me. That's a heck of a good gift, folks. I need to try harder when picking out presents for them next year. They know me well and got something that is so cool that my mind reels just thinking about it.

Thanks to my brother and his wife (Alev, you are now my favorite sister-in-law), my wife bought some pancake mix so I can enjoy my boysenberry syrup in the morning.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I came out pretty well but, more importantly, my wife was thrilled that I bought her a bunch of gifts that she absolutely wanted and adored (the sapphire and diamond ring was the top of the heap, seemingly) and the kids are ecstatic over their new Nintendo DS systems and the games that go with them. The best thing yet, however, is that we had the family over to our house for Christmas and didn't have to go anywhere this year. That, folks, was absolute bliss.

11 comments: said...

I'm with you, Hawg, it is bliss being able to stay home over the holidays. We had Christmas dinner at home yesterday and my extended family is coming to our house tomorrow. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas (getting boysenberry syrup). That sure was a thoughtful gift. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend! :)

Theresa said...

That sounds like a great Christmas!

And you're all set with your syrup. Oh, pen your letters to IHOP way before you run out. LOL

Nice wrench, by the way...

Kathy said...

What great stories! Although I'm sorry you were plumbing Christmas Eve! Probably not what you were expecting you'd be doing. I've never had boysenberry syrup before. That'w quite a jug you got there. Make it last!

Rebecca said...

That is SO COOL about the syrup! I love it when business love their customers. Too bad Walmart wouldn't give you a complimentary wrench. ;)

Matt said...

Terrific stories, Hawg. I love the "sneakiness" of the wrench that saved Christmas.

The boysenberry syrup I cannot comment on, as I have never tried it, but I think it was very nice of your brother and sister-in-law to send you that gallon and the gift card. Very thoughtful.

It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas, and that you have a wonderful family to share it with.

Da Old Man said...

What a great and thoughtful gift.

Sounds like a perfect Christmas (except for the last minute plumbing, of course)

You know, "The Wrench that Saved Christmas" would make a nice title for a children's Christmas story. said...

Hawg, I would have titled this piece, "The Wrench That Saved Christmas (Dinner)."

I could see you running through Wal Mart, hair flapping in the wind. Hilarious!

This entire scene reads like something out of the movie "A Christmas Story."

Ahh traditions. Now you have a story to tell your grandchildren on Christmas Eve.

JD at I Do Things said...

I love the wrench story. You did the right thing, sneaking into WalMart. And that jug of syrup! That's awesome. I do love it when people give such perfect gifts. I hope you enjoy it.

JD at I Do Things

The Natural State Hawg said...

Laura -- It was great being home, indeed. My only regret is that we didn't take out enough time to enjoy the holiday season, really (I'll blog about that soon). My brother picked a great present. What a good guy. I hope y'all had a great weekend, too!

Theresa -- I'll stay after the local IHOP. Meanwhile, I've got a boysenberry connection.

Heck yeah!

Kathy -- You've never experienced the joy of boysenberry? You're missing out!

Rebecca -- Heh. They barely let me get in to buy the one I got! In fact, they tried to keep me from getting in the store and buying anything.

Matt -- I do have a wonderful family to share it with and we had a great time. I outdid myself with my wife's presents this year and that's really what is important to me.

I hope you had a great Christmas, too.

Da Old Man -- Love the idea. But do we really want to teach the kids to defy authority like that?

I mean, my kids question authority any chance they get (that's my influence, I think), but I wonder how "normal" parents would feel about it...

Paul -- At the rate my hair is falling out, I think "flapping" may be stretching it. Still, I must have looked like a maniac running to the plumbing section and hoping to avoid getting thrown out of the store.

That is a story I will tell, indeed.

Happy New Year's, Paul! Too bad you didn't get down to Benton. Oh well. You can help me hang lights next year ;)

JD -- My beloved Marci Kay has already made French toast and pancakes. I've been getting some mileage out of that syrup. Love it!

Etha Maddie said...

You snuck into Wal-Mart?!?!? That is great! Absolutley great!

The Natural State Hawg said...

Etha -- It was fun, indeed. Kid tries to block me from a needed wrench.

Of course, if I would have been thinking, I would have borrowed one from a neighbor...