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Okay, so I’m in the middle of nowhere a couple of days ago, standing in the buffet line at a barbecue joint, when I feel someone cuff me on the back of the head!

It wasn’t a gentle cuff, but I’m the outsider here, a guy who tries to avoid all types of backwoods confrontation, so I don’t so much as turn my head. I’m stayin’ calm, waitin’ for my Southern Kentucky mystery meat.

Suddenly, I get cuffed again, harder. I turn around and see a guy slightly older than me, grinning like a monkey in a meth lab. I don’t know the guy. I frown at him and turn away and he cuffs me again. From behind me I hear a woman’s voice say, “Daddy?”

That gets my attention. I turn to find an attractive young lady standing next to the man. She says to him, “Daddy, some folks don’t like to be hit in the head while waitin’ for lunch.”

I nodded my agreement, then followed the line a few steps closer to the food.

And got cuffed again.

Some of the others in line snickered, and I didn’t blame them. “This stuff always happens to me,” I said to the country collective. His daughter said, “I’m so sorry. He likes you. It’s just that he don’t know how to make new friends.”

I thought, “No shit!” But what I said was, “That’s okay, no problem.” By then it was my turn in line, and I ordered my food. As I was about to pay I heard her say, “Don’t do it, Daddy!” Then she said, “You hit him again, and I’ll take your TV away!”

He cuffed me one last time, hard enough to make me stumble.

I got my food and started to leave. As I opened the door I turned and said, “Nice to meet you!” And it was. I’ve got to admire any man who’d give up his TV to befriend me.

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Winslow says:
I'd give up my TV to befriend you too! Hopefully, I'd try a different way if I was standing behind you.
murdernovels says:
Hi John, really enjoying your new blog, funny stuff. I know about customer service, had a few run-ins with the interactive annoyance. I purchased Wish List the other day, enjoying it so far, thanks for everything, Bob Moats
ABQ894 says:
Taking a study break from writing the last of my graduate papers for the semester (Social Policy Analysis--which leaves no doubt as to my need for relief from brainstrain!), I came across your blog. Reading your blog entries--this one, in particular--has provided me with my first real side-splitting belly laughs in over a week! Not to mention, I will never look at a barbeque buffet line quite the same way again! =D Abundant thanks for sharing your delightfully entertaining humor--in your blogs and especially in your terrific books. 'Follow the Stone' was fabulous, by the way!! Best regards, MJR