Martin Kindle drove his car up a driveway that belonged to a huge house that spoke of old money. Suddenly, Martin’s tie seemed tight. Before the car even stopped, a slender gentleman dressed in a black suit step out the front door. Jumping quickly out and hurrying to the passenger’s side, Martin managed to open the car door before the gentleman. “Good evening, Mr. Bolton.”
“I know I am old, but I am quite capable of doing that myself. And please, call me Robert. ”
Feeling a bit foolish Martin almost said, “Yes sir” like a little boy. Boy, this isn’t going well, he thought. Getting back into the car, he backed out into the street and headed to his house, on the other side of town.
After trying to make conversation and getting nothing more than a few short sentences, Martin thought it best to keep still. He had a mental checklist going through his head. Early this morning he had explained to his wife, June, how important this meeting would be, for both of them. He was bringing home the athletic shoe king, a giant in the industry.
But he wasn’t sure if she heard. She was playing peek-a-boo with their one-year old. When he called her at noon to get an update on her progress, he could hear the children laughing in the background. Martin repeated again to June how important this dinner would be and how she can’t be making puppets at the last minute, or finger painting, or anything that would ruin the meeting. June’s eyes sparkled and she laughed that infectious laugh of hers and agreed. After he hung up the phone he wished he had suggested a babysitter for the evening.
Bolton Shoes was a huge company and was in the process of switching its advertising agency. This was Martin’s big chance to land the account. Robert Bolton over the phone boldly invited himself to dinner. Martin couldn’t think of any reason to say no. He did think of his wife and her scatterbrain habits. For some reason, Martin was not sure she truly understood what was at stake.
“I’m anxious to meet your family, Martin. You can tell a lot about a man,”
Robert said. The voice startled Martin. They had been silent for most of the ride.
“Yes, Sir, Mr., er..Robert. My family is anxious to meet you too, Sir.” The tie tighten another notch. Martin prayed his family was all sitting on the sofa with their halos on. And June, too!
Turning the last block to his house, Martin groaned out loud. There, parading down his street, was his wife, two children, Joshua and Mindy, their dog, Rascal, the Petersons children and their dogs, the Hubert’s three children and dog and the Linder’s children. They each were playing a ‘drum”, actually a pot or pan from their mother’s kitchen. June was the leader using a garden rake as her baton. They were all marching and beating drums and making an awful noise.
“What have we here?” asked Robert. “A parade? Do you know these people?”
“Yes, Sir. The leader is my wife, June. My children are part of the group.” Martin was afraid to say more. In fact, his tie was so tight now his voice nearly squeaked. Pulling the car into his driveway, he stopped the engine. He waited for Robert to say something. What he heard was a chuckle.
“Martin, it is so refreshing to see that. What a joy your wife must be! Most women would be fussing over last minute details on the evening’s meal. Not your wife. Its obvious she knows the importance of children. Yes sir-ree, quite a woman.”
“Thank you Robert,” Martin managed to speak. The tie was beginning to loosen.
“Well, don’t just sit there. Introduce me to your family. Then let’s eat. I’m hungry!”
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