Tiptoe......................peeking through the gate

Telephone Poles and Big Bores


      I should tell you a little about writers: we see too much, question too much, and think too much. Like a beagle sniffing the wind and finding hints of grilled steak or chicken no human can detect, writers sense a story where there appears to be none.

    Years ago, I went to a professional dinner with my husband. We were separated somehow, and I spent the evening sitting across from a woman considered by most to be a Big Bore. On the way home, my husband said, "Poor you! I saw you sitting across from BB. How did it go?"

    "Quite fascinating, actually," I replied. "Did you know that she was left in a basket on someone's doorstep? The people who opened the door took her in and raised her as their own. They happened to be serious Christians with three other children, all of whom went overseas as missionaries. BB considers herself a bit inferior because she stayed here in the States."

     My husband laughed. "Figures," he said. "I think you could wring a story out of a telephone pole!"

    For the record, BB was a woman of sterling character, just not much of a talker. As an administrator, she earned the eternal respect of one teacher in her school through a surprising act of humility (not surprising for BB, but surprising for an administrator). I heard the story directly from the teacher.

   sponge-and-cleanser One day, BB called this teacher into her office and mentioned that the desks in the teacher's room were quite dirty. She asked the teacher to clean them with soap and paper towels. Teacher X snapped, "I am not being paid to wash desks!"

    Later that day, the teacher hurried past her classroom on her way out of school. She glanced through the window in her door and saw the back of BB, bent over a desk, scrubbing off pencil and ink marks with sponge and towels.

    "Crash course in humility," the teacher said to me.

    People teach me every day. I search and listen for stories, then ponder what they tell me. With you, my readers, I hope to share the gleanings from what I hear and see and come to understand. Because, really, there are no Big Bores in this wonderful world God made!