The advertising jingle for Mounds Almond Joy candy bars often plays its tune in a repetitive cycle in my head. Sometimes I actually do feel like a nut. Not an almond, or a Brazil nut or even a coconut, just a nutty person. And it’s all because of my unpredictable poor vision. With my RP, I get myself into strange predicaments, either because I only see part of what is happening or I don’t see it at all. To make it worse, I don’t know what I’m not seeing. These incidents often cause unexpected … shall I say, diversions, which keep me and those around me entertained.
One example after a big church gathering, that sweet southern hospitality kicked in and I was invited to stay on for a potluck meal. In line, a friendly, somewhat older gal struck up a conversation with me and the fellow in a western bow tie and cowboy hat in front of me turned around and joined in. I marveled at the warmth of such strangers.
The red-headed lady and I loaded up our plates and found some empty seats. Carlie, as she was called, set down her plate and pointed to the part of the room where the beverages sat. “There’s a table with drinks over there. Can I help you get something?”
This cane of mine is quite the thing to get me out of my shell—and out of work. I smiled. “No, I’ll be fine.”
A little while later, I changed my mind. The thought of a glass of sweet iced tea seemed to fit the bill. “I’ll be right back,” I whispered, making my way over to the refreshment table. There, I picked up the only cup, a Styrofoam one, and placed it under the nozzle of the large iced tea container and flipped the lever forward.
Whoosh! The cup flew to the floor.
Uh-oh. I bent over to pick up the cup but forgot that the ice tea was still flowing out since I didn’t actually see it. Suddenly, I heard it. To hide what I thought was a little mistake, I thrust the cup under the spigot again to catch the iced tea.
A woman I didn’t know rushed over. “Dear, cain’t you see….” That’s when she spied my cane. “I mean, you cain’t see it. But there’s a hoewell in the bottom of youh cup,” she said, drawing out the word ‘hole’ as only a southerner can. “Don’t worry. Honey, it’s…it’s… allll right,” the lady said, her voice sounding more than a bit panicked.
The next moment, a cascade of sweet tea shot through the cup in my hand, sending it flying once more while the rest of the tea gushed with the unchecked power of Niagara Falls over the edge of the table.
“Turn it off, turn it off,” shouted another church-goin’ lady speeding to the scene.
The click of high heels followed as another called, “Get that cup!” Like it was a runaway fugitive. Stop! Don’t let the baddie get away.
Soon, several blurry bodies sped over to organize a lined flood patrol, passing down paper towels. With dropped jaws, they spoke in hushed words of disbelief.
“It’s the strangest thing….”
“I’ve never seen anything like it!”
“…a hoewell in the cup.” At this point, several heads moved in to inspect the defective cup, now in custody.
I felt my face heat up several degrees as I slunk away from the small crowd. One older lady took charge and sat me down, “Now honey, you don’t worry none about this. You have youhself a slice of pea-can pie.”
I picked up a fork and took a bite of my freshly-baked southern pecan pie, taking the woman’s advice to heart, determined to enjoy the rest of my meal. I could hear the women, still in a state of heightened emotion, as they clustered around me once again.
The humor of it snuck in. That day I do believe I caused a flood of monumental proportions at the church social. But as an out-of-town guest—and being the owner of a long white cane—somehow got me off the hook. I liked that. And I sure loved that pecan pie.
The first lady sat down again. “Psssshhhhh,” she said and covered her mouth to hide the laughter. At first, I didn’t understand. Was she hushing the women? Callie turned to me and mimicked the woman. “Psssshhhhh.” She, too, dissolved in laughter. That’s when I realized that they might, just might, have been imitating the sound of the escaping sweet tea! Her droll throwback set off the other woman and pretty soon everyone was laughing.
I felt like a celebrity when they started patting my back and saying, “A hole in the cup!” again and again, letting their laughter flow.