* 30 … AWKWARD MOMENTS (03/25/2012)
All his life, the shopkeeper said what he meant and meant what he said. The townsfolk knew that if anyone would give it to them straight, it was the shopkeeper. He didn’t have a problem telling people just exactly what was on his mind, popular or not. This, inevitably, led to numerous nasty looks from his wife, particularly when she didn’t agree with him and wanted to be sure he knew. But, in those nasty looks was a love that nothing could break, not even an unpopular opinion.
Yet, something about the couple from Illinois made the shopkeeper just uneasy enough to not completely share what he was thinking. He didn’t even understand why. It was just a hunch. So, when the gentleman bellowed out his query about what wasn’t right, the shopkeeper just froze. The eldest sibling swiftly stepped to the shopkeeper’s rescue, telling the couple that they were just talking about some local political issues that had the shopkeeper in a fit.
It worked. The gentleman from Illinois simply voiced a generic agreement that some issues just don’t make sense. The shopkeeper nodded his head in agreement.
“So, you going to show us around?” the gentleman asked the eldest sibling. With that prompt, the eldest took the couple from Illinois on a tour of the business.
After the eldest and the couple were out of earshot, the middle sibling glanced at the shopkeeper and his wife, then set her glare on her younger brother. “Now will you tell me what is going on? And, come to think of it, neither of you have told me when you plan to leave on your trip!”