I am Mom
Da Kid was up and gone long before the sun rose this morning. The note he'd left next to the coffee pot was simple. If I wasn't doing anything later, maybe I'd like to meet him at the ballfield next to his Volunteer Fire Department's main station for a hotdog lunch.
Today was the town's "Second Annual Christmas Parade and Festival." (They used to do it every year, stopped for some reason, and only started again last year which is why it's the "Second Annual.") Once the parading was done and the trucks put up, members of the VFD were heading over to the ballfield for the Festival ("Games! Live Music! Arts and Crafts! Food!) to run a fund-raising Hot Dog and Sausage Dog Booth.
I called Da Kid to find out where (the hell) the main station is. I know where three of their stations are, but not what they're known as or even if the "main station" is one of them. Turned out it is, but almost as soon as I hung up he called back.
Would I do him a favor. A BIG favor. Since I was heading out that way for lunch, anyway, would I mind stopping at a grocery store and picking up some baked beans for them.
No problem. How many cans?
Maybe he meant two of the big (Number 10?) industrial-sized cans? No, he said. Two regular ones. Well, maybe four. Uh, maybe three big cans . . . "I don't know."
In my former life (I'm retired now.) I've helped cook and / or coordinated "feedings" at a homeless shelter several times. That's three hundred to five hundred plates of food for a single meal. I know Jesus multiplied the fishes and loaves of bread to feed a multitude, but, I ain't "JC" and neither are any of them. Three dinky cans of baked beans won't feed many people at a booth selling hot dogs and sausage dogs.
How many portions did they figure, I asked.
Ten. Maybe . . . 15. Might be 20.
The baked beans weren't for the public, but for the volunteers at the booth. So, I made a quick stop at Winn Dixie before heading to their booth at the Festival . . .
("Thank's, Mom. You're awesome.")
. . . where it's raining. Hard. And, it had been raining like that on and off most of the morning and was going to stay that way for the rest of the day.
While many of the other booths seemed empty, the people running them hiding under their tents trying to stay dry, the VFD's booth had had and still had a fairly steady stream of people coming and going all morning not for hot dogs, but because their vehicles had gotten stuck in the mud. By now, though, just about every one has been dragged out and there weren't many people left at the Festival.
Which was good, since from the start the VFD had been having a problem with their electric hot dog grill. It wouldn't stay on because the generator powering it kept "crapping out." They had enough cooked for them and the sausages on the gas grill that hadn't sold, plus the cans of baked beans I brought.
I took the opportunity when the rain let up about 45 minutes later, to go back to my car and head home. I had a $9* hot dog and learned an important lesson: Do not assume.
Just because they know hoses and couplings and really technical stuff involved in fighting fires, and while some are EMTs and Paramedics with amazing knowledge and expertise far beyond what normal folk like you and I have . . . that doesn't mean ONE of them realized until they all began scrambling around looking, that not one had thought about the need for a can opener, a pot to heat the beans in, or any utensils to eat the baked beans with.
* $6 (cans of not-on-sale baked beans) + $3 ("Mom, all I have is my debit card . . . funnel cake, next booth over.) = $9.