I forgot one element of my earlier escapade today. After finally making it to the Wal-Mart parking lot, I realized I didn’t have any masks in Jen’s car. So I dug around, and the only one that sort of fit was a mask of Kid #2’s made from the lovely fabric depicted below. Thankfully, the lining is plain robin’s egg blue, so I flipped it and went inside.

Kitten Fabric

As I was making my way to the checkout, carrying a pair of boots, a pair of shoes, and five decorative metal cookie tins, I walked past a manager of some sort. He took one look at me in my Champion hoodie, green wool Cabela’s bib overalls (probably encrusted with snow from digging the car out of the drift), and a child’s mask making my ears stick out like Alfred E. Neumann, and barely managed to get out a “How’s it going, guy?” To which I replied, with surprising enthusiasm and apparent sincerity, “Great!”

This holiday season, I am very thankful for the manners instilled in me by my parents Joanne Koennecke Lamb and Patrick Lamb. Even when I’m at the end of my rope, I make sure I never lose it on anyone who works in food service or retail. The hours are long and they don’t make enough money to have to put up with my honest feelings!