At Perkins we learned, besides cooking and the love of cooking that resides in our hearts to this day, how to sail buttermilk pancakes like frisbees through the kitchen, what happens to the nipple on a baby bottle being warmed in an old microwave, the joy of watching a microwaved poached egg explode on the plate of a surprised diner, and the shocked waitress looks as cooks downed raw egg shooters from compote cups.
Recently I bought a new cell phone - a Samsung Galaxy Mega - which I jokingly tell people can show movies just like on a big screen TV if you hold it close enough to your face. Many strangers cluck and shake their heads, then laugh a bit as I walk away, but I can play the town fool with a straight face about as well as any jester, and I'm happy to contribute to a moment of happiness, even for a stranger.
Buying a case to carry the phone turned into quite a search. The phone is fairly new to the market, so no place I could find carries a case. My searches in Florida and Minnesota at all the regular places left me caseless.
On the last day of my stay in Minneapolis Denny drove me to a Target store where we hunted diligently for the right case or some kind of substitute that would at least get me by temporarily. I give full credit to the sales staff who bent over backwards as they, too, got into the game, leading us from kitchen utensils to suitcases and most every department in between. The closest we found was a very, very ugly traveling hair curler bag that could be modified in several ways. It would have looked like a knotted clump of nylon and plastic hanging from my belt - but it would have held the phone.
In a moment of last minute inspiration one of the sales ladies said, "Why don't you try the women's purse department. They have some nice ones on clearance."
So, Denny and I hoofed it over and spent a most exhilarating half hour or so (I really hated to leave) being helped by an overly cheerful young sales girl, who had many suggestions, but didn't think the little black leather number with chain and silver studs suited me very well, even though I insisted that I wanted a manly looking purse and I really liked it.
I found the experience very pleasant and most surreal.
Here's a picture of my new perfect purse. We modified it a bit by cutting off the three-foot gold chain (hated to do that, but it would have dangled) then cut the leather strap that had been incorporated into the length of chain into two pieces and riveted them to the back of the purse to form belt loops.
VOILA!! A carrying case for my Mega phone.
Afterward, as Denny and I walked around Target looking for our wives, we passed the jewelry counter - and there was our purse sales lady with two other employees. She looked at us and questioned, "You guys are shopping for jewelry now?"
I could only smile at her and wink. "It's a special day," I confided.