A Clandestine Meeting


Gail and I started a Christmas tradition a couple of years ago — on Christmas eve, we have fondue for dinner (bread and cheese fondue first, then beef fondue, and chocolate fondue for dessert), and then everyone puts on brand new pajamas, and we all do a big jigsaw puzzle. I bought some puzzles on eBay the other day just for this reason, and noticed that the seller lives in Hamilton. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind me picking the puzzles up to save myself shipping costs, and he said no problem. Once I won the auction, we arranged to meet at a Tim Horton’s (how Canadian, eh?) across from Limeridge Mall. I told him I’d wear a red baseball cap so he’d recognize me (Gail thought that the whole “red baseball cap” thing was very funny), and he said to look for an old man with gray hair and a cane.

I was going Christmas shopping anyway, so I showed up a little early and had dinner. Vegetable soup and chicken salad sandwich combo. On whole wheat. With a Coke. I finished that and then went back up for a donut and hazelnut smoothee (mmmmmmmm… hazelnut) and while I was enjoying that, a woman who was the quintessential “little old lady” came up to me and said “Excuse me, but are you the puzzle man?” I told her I was, and she motioned me over to where she and her husband were sitting. Her husband was the man with the cane – there was a large tree in between where they were sitting and where I was sitting, so I hadn’t seen them (good thing I wore my red baseball cap!). We chatted for a minute or two, I thanked them for meeting me so I could save the shipping costs, and went our separate ways.

My car still smells like hazelnut smoothee.

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