Dead Man Walking

I was in the checkout line at the grocery store today watching the lady in front of me try to keep a straight face as my 10-year old asked me if the $108 million dollar lotto prize would be enough for college. But what was more interesting was the guy behind me.

Here’s a guy obviously fresh from work. Well, maybe not too fresh. He clearly labors at some task or other which warrants a shower at the end of the shift. He had that rugged tired look about him which would likely land him his own truck commercial some day. It’s just too bad he won’t live that long.

He came to the grocery store to buy just one thing. A greeting card. But this wasn’t just a last minute Happy Birthday wish to someone. This was a mushy pink beflowered card with lots of ornate script. This was clearly going to that special woman. The last woman he’ll ever love. Because as I mentioned, he’s not got too long left.

Now let’s examine guys and greeting cards. Some greeting cards are simply designed to be purchased by guys. They announce the purpose of the card in large letters right on the front. “Happy Anniversary to My Wife”, “Happy Birthday to That Special 10-year old”, or “I’m Sorry for Running Over Your Cat”. Guys like cards like this because it’s not really required that you read the rest of them. The purpose is right, and we trust that Hallmark will convey our sincerity in whatever they wrote in the rest of it. You can whip into a store, pluck a card and be back in the truck in under 7 minutes. If McDonalds started offering greeting cards at the drive-through window, more guys would go there for lunch.

But this guy’s mind was clearly as muddled as his body looked bedraggled, for he hadn’t even bothered to read the big scripted letters on top. Now I’m assuming that this was not an anniversary or birthday card, because you can spot mushy cards for those occasions, even blind drunk. Those words did not appear in the big type. So there are only two other legitimate guy-reasons for buying mushy cards for girls. Either she’s been gnawing his ear off about how he never does those “little things” any more (or ever), or he screwed up bad and is trying to do penance. But regardless, he’s a dead man.

For the card opened with those words every woman is dying to hear, “To My Dear Friend…”. I do not know what the rest of the card said, but I hope they at least read it at the funeral.

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