A Slice of Pie and a Slim Jim

Went to "Pie Night" at the local Village Inn.... it's a little tradition that some of my friends and I have created over the past few years. Just a little time to hang out, vent about the week, grab a bite to eat, and laugh at the things we'd rather cry about.  It's a hodge podge of folks, and it suits us fine. 

I ordered only coffee tonight, as I had already eaten dinner with the kids at home. The coffee came, the conversations ebbed and flowed with the pour of the dark liquid. There were discussions of what our kids were doing, the Dubai races and political state of affairs there, the celebration of a friend's personal victory.  As usual, there's always the moment of 'If I only knew then, what I know now" comments, and a chuckle from all, recognizing that we all learn from our life adventures.  We go for pie, more for the moral and emotional support, the food's a bonus.  As we delve into the theoretical discussion of what love is, agape, the different stages, and how age and opportunity factors into one's perception of 'true love', if there truly is such a thing, the conversation slows and our evening winds down.

Goodbyes being said, one by one, each of us left the tables where our group had been seated.  A dear friend, who is old enough to be my father, was the last to leave along with me.  Thinking that most of our friends had left already, we walked out the door to find a group of our friends still standing out front.  Hovered around a white SUV donning tags from Texas, our friends seemed quite interested in what was inside the vehicle.

Three women, a mother and her college age girls, were hovering with the group. A miniature Scottish Terrier, dressed in a sparkly warm dress and a rhinestone collar, danced around the front of the vehicle, yipping away at the people wandering around her territory. She was ferocious.... in a cute way.  Made certain that everyone knew that she had owners, they were right there, and as small as she was, SHE was in control. 

The tiny terrier had been guarding her territory while her Mistresses were inside, getting a quick bite to eat. Apparently, in the excitement of people walking near to the vehicle, she jumped onto the armrest of a door, inadvertently hitting the electric lock switch.  It probably would not have been an issue, if it were not for the small detail that the SUV was left running, you know, keys in the ignition kind of running.... with the other set of keys hanging uselessly in a suburban home somewhere in the Houston area.

As the locksmith promised no less than an hour or more wait, the local authorities informed the women that nothing could be done on their behalf, unless it was a child, and if it WAS a child, there might be legal ramifications.

Don't ask me why, 'cause I  didn't ask why he had one, (OK, I did ask, but he wouldn't tell), but a sweet young man from our crew of comrades came forward with a slim jim.  Working first on the front passenger window, he tried valiantly for almost 15 minutes to work the lock, then took a short break. The little dog, running back and forth, began jumping onto the arm rests of the door once again.  Walking up to the passenger door, I tapped ever so lightly on the front portion of the window, calling to her.

The whirling sound of electronically mechanized locks came, not just once, but at least 5 times within a few moments of each paw hit. The delicate pads, hitting on the lock portion, again and again.  Each time, I grabbed for the door handle, pulling, hoping that the sound signified the doors unlocking. The women, all standing on the sidewalk, as strangers tried to break into their SUV, ever more frustrated over their dilemma.

I backed away and joined the women, trying to reassure them that it would be just a minor inconvenience, and that there would be a great story of their trip to Tampa and their canine catastrophe that waylaid them from an extra two hours of sleep.  In the meantime, my dear buddy was back at it again, using the jimmy on the rear passenger door window.

Eventually, without much ceremony, and with two county sheriffs looking on, the back window rolled down, and my dear friend unlocked the vehicle for the travelling souls.  We clapped, cheered a little, gave him hugs, and then proceeded to say goodbye to our new acquaintances from the Lone Star State. 

As we walked to our own vehicles, calling out to one another, saying our weekly goodbyes, the younger of the 'rescued' women came running up to the young man that liberated their pooch. She handed him a white bag, filled with slices of pie, a thank you gesture. Being the gentleman that he is, he smiled, accepted the pastry, and hopped into his old truck.  As his truck engine came to life, the young woman ran back again, this time with cash in her hand, a smile, and another thanks.

It wasn't a really eventful night, but, I can assure you that those ladies from Houston, who thanked us just because we stayed with them, assured them, will have a story to tell.  My buddy has gas money tonight, three women are grateful for the persistence and caring hearts of some strangers, and I have warm memories of a caring soul who wasn't going to give up until he found a solution.

None of us will probably be able to think of or see a piece of pie again, not without thinking about a dog and a slim jim.