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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Tonight, a crabby old lady is eating a fancy pastry that looks like it was hurled from a catapult, wondering where it all went wrong.

One of the nice things about our regular Sunday group ride is pulling up to the Pastry Shoppe and getting a sweet and a cup of coffee. If it is a nice day, a table on the sidewalk is the preferred place to linger over a muffin and conversation or to just sit back and watch people come and go.

We’ve been showing up regularly at the Pastry Shoppe for several years now, and the young ladies behind the counter treat us well. A friendly greeting, a refill on the coffee, and the occasional free treat lets us know that our patronage is appreciated. In fact, the service is usually so friendly and so well-meaning that you’d feel like a total heel if you ever complained about anything.

I got out for a quick solo ride this Sunday and, naturally, I ended my jaunt with a stop at the Pastry Shoppe. After purchasing a muffin and a large decaf, I installed myself at a sidewalk table, sipped my coffee and watched the people come and go. The Shoppe was very busy this particular Sunday: a dad with a young girl; two older couples just back from church; a well-dressed woman picking up a cake.

I was about half way through my muffin when an older luxury automobile – a light blue four-door Lincoln Continental, a vehicle about the size of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz – careened into the shopping center parking lot and lurched to a stop in the handicap parking spot located just across the sidewalk from my table. The car door swung open and out stepped a rather formidable-looking older woman. Probably somewhere in her early 80s, Miss Daisy sported a sour expression on her face that suggested a lifetime of chronic constipation. She marched past my table and through the door of the Pastry Shoppe, taking time to shoot me and my bike a scowl as she walked by.

Watching through the window from my sidewalk table, it was plain to see that Miss Daisy was not enjoying the experience of having to take her place in line and wait to be helped. As with many of the finer things in life, the process of purchasing a treat or some coffee at the Pastry Shoppe is often a complicated affair, especially where children are involved. Some customers experience dessert overload and have difficulty sorting through the many permutations of sweets that are available. Is it better to go with the plain raspberry versus the raspberry-cheese or the raspberry-chocolate croissant? The muffins are nice….what kind of bagels do you have? Are the sticky buns fresh?

By the time that her turn finally came up, Miss Daisy was seemingly bent on releasing her pent-up impatience at having to wait in line by giving the young lady behind the counter a very hard time. Miss Daisy frog-walked the young miss up and down the counter as she selected a large number of fancy pastries – tortes, mousses, and fruit confections – all the time snapping at the poor girl. Given the treatment that she was receiving at the hands of Miss Daisy, the young lady would have been fully justified either bursting into tears or hurling a chocolate-dipped macaroon at the old woman’s head. The young lady, to her infinite credit, retained her composure.

After what seemed like an eternity, Miss Daisy filled two bulky cake boxes full of fragile treats. Money was exchanged and the young woman behind the counter extended one final courtesy to Miss Daisy.

“Would you like some help carrying that out to your car?”

“No,” snarled Miss Daisy, “you’ve been much too helpful already.”

Purchases in hand, Miss Daisy steamed out the door, past my table, and out to her behemoth Lincoln. She set the two boxes on the trunk of the car and fiddled through her purse looking for the keys. Miss Daisy always puts her groceries in the trunk of her Lincoln, never on the seats: it keeps the interior nice. Unable to immediately find the key to open the trunk, Miss Daisy opened the driver’s side door, perhaps smug in the knowledge that her ancient Lincoln is equipped with virtually every convenience feature known to Detroit, including an electric trunk latch that unlocks and lifts the trunk lid.

Miss Daisy hit the button, unlocking the trunk.

The trunk popped open like a jack-in-the-box, catapulting the two boxes of fragile pastries that were perched there onto the asphalt.

Miss Daisy uttered a very, very bad word to no one in particular. Picking up the boxes, she dumped them unceremoniously into the trunk, got behind the wheel of the Lincoln, and screeched out of the parking lot.

I can truly say that the best part of the morning ride was heading inside to get a refill of coffee and to tell the young ladies behind the counter what had just happened to Miss Daisy out in the parking lot. They were nice enough (and perhaps wise enough) to express a polite amount of concern, but you could tell from the barely suppressed grins behind the counter that their only regret was that they hadn’t actually seen the éclairs and delicate lady fingers go soaring through the air.

I got back on my bike, free refill of coffee in my hand, and headed for home. Rolling through the neighborhood, I had a little time to think about what had just happened. Yes, you could go round and round in your head trying to come up with some sort of an explanation for what had just occurred. Was it merely a random event, a happy-yet-arbitrary incident from which we shouldn’t draw any deep conclusions about the way in which the heavens are ordered, or does the Universe really care enough to issue harsh correctives to bad-tempered old ladies? And if one’s thinking tends toward the conclusion that there was a direct cause and effect relationship between Miss Daisy’s petulance and the demise of her pastries, then you certainly had to stand in awe of the swiftness and the sureness with which the Universe had dispensed its Extreme Crabbiness Smackdown. Plenty of irritable people go about their lives spewing nastiness at all and sundry without any visible evidence of being on the receiving end of a well-deserved cosmic comeuppance. Yet on this day the Fates chose to flick Miss Daisy like a booger, an obvious warning to other grumpy souls to please take their complaints somewhere else.

I glided into the driveway of my house, still sipping my free refill of coffee as I opened the shed and put away my bike. People have been struggling to sort out those sorts of questions for thousands of years; the answers that we come up with shape the way in which we fundamentally assess and react to events around us. World religions have risen and fallen on questions of lesser gravity. I certainly wasn’t about to find the answer in the rather short mile between the Pastry Shoppe and my house.

However, there is one sure thing that I was able to come up with during that thoughtful mile on my bike. It is this: I don’t think that I’ll be complaining about the service at the Pastry Shoppe any time soon.
 

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I really enjoyed reading that, thanks for posting.

I don't believe in Karma, personally. Too many good things happen to bad people, and vice versa. As for "Ms. Daisy", I kind of feel bad for her. Not just because of the pastries (although that is tragic:) ), but because she doesn't seem to appreciate life at her old age. It makes me wonder if she ever really stopped to look around, for instance by sitting on a bench sipping coffee and enjoying a pastry...
 

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I also want to chime in that I appreciated your post. I also don't believe in Karma (it's not my religious heritage), but that's neither here nor there. I use the word irony. There was irony in the fact that the crabby old lady dumped her pastries when opening her trunk. Your story is one that encourages pondering life. Thanks; there are days I can use pause to ponder life.
 

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Fun read... the sad thing is Miss Crabby prob served them to her grandkids anyways... woulda been better if they plopped all over her freshly dry-cleaned satin dress or the front seats of the Batmobile. A nice belly laugh woulda been appropriate, but I suppose the karmic gods woulda made sure you had one or two flats on the way home.

This kinda reminds me of a thread about Nashbar.....
 

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Thanks for the fun read. Masterful as always.

I think we all know of a Ms or Mr Daisy. It is a bit of a chuckle to see a swift reminder issued to those that should play a little nicer with others. On the other hand, there's no way to tell of the shoes Ms Daisy is walking in
 

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i agree it was "instant karma" and she deserved the pertirbedness (poetic license) but tell me this, I introduced a friend into mountain biking this weekend and he had a great time but when I got home today my mailbox was busted, my dog jumped in the swamp and when I went to wash her off someone had stolen my hose, I pinch flattened my tube when putting new tires on my commuter bike, my mom had packed leftover ribs from mothers day cookout but neglected to put any veggies or twice baked potatoes w/ them and I offended a friend when I asked what church he is getting married in and he's getting married in a garden. Oh well, I'm sure i did something to deserve this sh!tty day...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the nice feedback --

Thanks for the nice feedback. This is indeed a true story (it happened on Mother's Day) with very few "embellishments."

RW -- I had the same thoughts about Miss Daisy and the possibly tragic sources of her crabbiness. But then again, she was simply AWFUL to the help in the Shoppe and it would take someone far holier than me to excuse Miss Daisy's bad behavior.

Gutfiddle -- all of your bad luck is due to the fact that you introduced a friend to mountain biking. Thanks to you and your little "introduction" your friend will shortly endo off of a cliff.

Insight -- I *love* the word "irony." It captures it nicely. Thanks.
 

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I have my share of Ms. Daisies

I work the other side of the counter, in a family-owned bakery that has been in our small town for nearly 30 years. We recognize our regular customers, and I can often tell you what they will order. Shoot, I have customers that I have their order waiting before they can make it to the counter. The Ms. Daisies are not the rule, thankfully, as this would make my job very tedious. However, we do have them, and generally, since I am the sales manager, my coworkers push me out to deal with them. That's ok. I'm real big, and can be somewhat more intimidating than an 18-year-old saleslady. I smile, and try my best to help them. When someone has a complaint, I try to bend over backwards to make the customer happy, but if I don't think their complaint is valid, then I make sure they understand my position. The customer is always right, except when they're not...:idea:

I don't believe in karma, but I do believe in the principle of "sowing and reaping". I also believe in the concept of "heaping coals of fire" by doing good to those who would attempt to take advantage of me. It's hard to live by a code like that, but it's worth it.

And while I appreciate the irony and humor of the story, I just had to think that "Ms. Daisy" has her high-society clothing, money, and fine automobile, but she has few friends, and is likely very lonely, and desperately needs purpose in life. Somebody needs to take her to church, and then get her on a bike!:D
 

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What goes arround, comes arround I guess..
Funny story, well written to...
 

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Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed your story and keen observations.
 
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