I get by with a little help from my friends

nickIt’s good to be wealthy in friends — especially on a day when you leave for work without your wallet. Take my word for it.

After wrapping up an 11 a.m. appointment Friday at Faith United Church of Christ — where I am scheduled to speak on Sunday morning about my employer, Muscatine Center for Social Action — I stopped for lunch at El Olmito. There were three reasons for this:

  • It is my favorite place in Muscatine for Mexican food.
  • It was 12:08 p.m.
  • A group of buddies meets there for lunch every Friday and I figured I could catch up with them.

As it turned out, I was able to join them even though they had finished eating by the time I arrived. But the bull session was lively enough that I had plenty of time to eat my three steak fajita tacos, which I washed down with a Pepsi.

In fact, the bull session was so lively I was one of the first in the group to leave. It was a good thing. I went to the cash register, reached in my pocket and found nothing. I headed back to the table with my hands in pockets — only to be greeted by howls of laughter.

One of the guys in the group — for the purposes of the blog, I’ll call him Joel — handed me a $20.But one of the other guys — who, for the purposes of the blog, shall be known as Nick the Plumber — wouldn’t have it.

“You don’t want to get stuck,” he told Joel while handing me a $10.

“Gee, wait a minute,” I said.

But what he meant to say, Nick said, was that he sees me nearly every morning at the Muscatine Community Y and I don’t run into Joel every day. “You better show up Monday,” Nick said with a laugh.

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