What Do You Want?

Does your pizza have double crust? Is the crust cheese-filled? Maybe it is sprinkled with parmesan and/or garlic. You can get a side of wings with that. Regular, mild, hot or atomic hot; what’s the matter can’t you take it? You need protein! Get some wings for crying out loud.

Do you like coffee? How about Mocha or a latte or a cappuccino or even a frappacino? How about a double Mocha-latte-frappacino? Do you know there’s no “x” in espresso? Would you like some cinnamon in that? How about raw sugar? It’s uh ... raw. There are also flavored syrups.

Want a chicken sandwich? How about a hot and spicy one? How about a double ranch hot and spicy broiled one without that horrible frying? Oh you LIKE the breading? A lot of fat in there, you know? Gonna put it on a bun? Better get whole wheat. Better get whole wheat, Italian, parmesan-encrusted ciabatta. Want it toasted? Better get it toasted. You haven’t lived until you’ve had it toasted. “He’ll have his toasted,” my wife says.

Want a salad with that? Bibb lettuce? Iceberg? Mixed greens with spinach? How about a garden blend? How about a cob salad? Would you like a cob salad? Can’t get you one of those because I don’t know what it is. In my mind there’s a cob of corn in a bowl surrounded by lettuce.

What would you like to drink? Cola, diet cola, cherry cola, cola with lemon, less caffeine, more caffeine, you tell me. Bad for you, you know. Diet drinks are worse. Affects your mind. You can clean acid off your car battery with cola, you know? Must be good on your stomach; clean out your colon.

Did you get enough Vitamin D? You need Vitamin D. Wait a minute--you may be taking too much Vitamin D. News flash: you may be taking too much Vitamin D. Stop taking so much Vitamin D.

Are you juicing? Juicing is important. You can live off juice. Drink Kale. Drink lemon water. It’s important. It’s not that important. Kale in a glass tastes like your lawn.

Do you have medical coverage? What do you mean you don’t know? It is going to be something you need to know before you finish your taxes. That’s right your tax people are in charge of making sure you can get well. Do you have a problem with that?

Are you going to keep those old windows? You know you’re losing heat in the winter and losing cool air in the summer. What’s wrong with you?

Do you have a headache? Do you want regular pain reliever or extra strength? I just want regular because I want to enjoy my headache for a little longer before it’s relieved. Extra strength would just last longer and get rid of the pain quicker. Bring on some extended pain – just the regular stuff for me.

Here’s some toilet paper with a bear on the commercial. He isn’t good at wiping--this bear. Nor is his son or wife, both of whom have clothes on while dad is bear naked or is it bare naked?  No wonder he is challenged by the wiping thing, he’s not even smart enough to wear clothes like his family. Stupid bear. But he does make soft toilet paper. I’ll buy some because of this commercial ... I think.

Now do your kids have the proper gear for pre-school? I’m talking Dora’s backpack, the Frozen tennis shoes for girls and basketball star shoes for boys. Do they carry a cell phone? They should you know. If they don’t, you simply don’t care as a parent. What’s wrong with you?

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Pasquale drove his car up the driveway. He was late getting home because they’d brought a final truck of coal into the plant at the end of the day and the boss offered three of them an hour or two of overtime pay to get it shoveled into the furnace. The kids heard the car clearly because the muffler was going bad, so they ran to the back door. Joe and his sister Jean always met dad at the door. He came through the cold into the warmth of the house and the kids hugged him as he knelt before them. He smelled of coal dust and tobacco but it was such a homey, familiar smell, Jean just reveled in it. He opened his lunchbox. He’d saved her his apple from earlier today and she kissed his cheek and ran off to show her mother, Pauline. He then pulled a wooden “Y” from his pocket and gave it to Joey. "I got about 20 minutes in on her today,” Pasquale said. “Maybe this weekend we can finish it up.” Joe and his dad had been working on a slingshot, but the hickory was awful hard to whittle. “Okay Pop,” Joey smiled.  They walked up the landing and into the kitchen. Chicken and mashed potatoes on Friday.  Smelled like heaven. Pauline had really only mastered 10 or 20 dishes as a cook but the ones she made were dependably outstanding. Pasquale kissed his wife and went into the bathroom where he washed up and put on a clean white shirt for dinner. When he came out, the kids were seated and food had been served. They said a family prayer and ate quietly. Pasquale told the tales of his day while Pauline described the giant turkey she saw at the market that someone must have been buying for Thanksgiving. Joe and Jean took turns imagining what a giant turkey would look like alive and they giggled when Joey talked about putting a saddle on it and riding it to school. After dinner, Pasquale and Joe shoveled coal down the basement to keep the house warm. Jean and Pauline finished the dishes and the four of them met in the living room. Pasquale put on the radio, Pauline picked up her knitting, and Joe and Jean got their favorite blankets and laid almost under the radio. The funny show played through the evening as the snow fell softly outside. Their bellies full and the weekend together ahead, there was a sense of peace and solitude among them. There was much to be grateful for. This simple life was a blessing.

Ron Ciancutti has worked in the parks and recreation industry since he was 16 years old, covering everything from maintenance, operations, engineering, surveying, park management, design, planning, recreation, and finance. He holds a BS in Business from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace University and has held his current position as Director of Procurement since 1990.