The Dining Room

“Good evening Miles,” the hostess welcomed him into the dining room.

Leaning heavily on his cane Miles shuffled through the doorway.  He pushed the wire rim of his glasses a little higher on his nose and then brushed what little hair he had off of his forehead.  This was his first meal at the retirement home and he didn’t want to be late.  Despite having served as an Air Force pilot in both World War II and the Korean conflict, and having survived getting shot down twice, he laughed and said, “I feel like the nerdy new kid at school.  Well maybe it’s the nerdy old guy at the retirement home. Where should I sit?”

“Sit any where you like.   We don’t have reserved seating.”

“I think I’ll sit over there.”  He looked in the direction of a large window overlooking the pond.

“That’s a lovely spot.   Do you need help?”

“No Ma’am, I can make it just fine.”

Miles had barely seated him self when Ray came storming in.  He marched up to the table, stamped his foot, shook his fist and bellowed, “That’s my chair.”

“What?”

“That’s—my– chair.”

Looking in the direction of the hostess, Miles calmly responded, “She said I could sit anywhere.”

“I said, ‘that’s my chair.”  

By now a small group of residents had circled the table.   Balancing on walkers and canes they stared at the scene, their mouths hanging open, their eyes blinking in disbelief.  No one had ever confronted Ray before.  None of them expected this wimpy little guy to be the first.

Without saying a word, Miles hooked the crook of his cane around the leg of the next chair and pulled it close.  Then pressing one hand on the table and leaning against his cane he pulled himself up to a standing position.

Having suddenly noticed the conflict the hostess started toward the table. 

 Clearly believing that he had won this battle, Ray smiled at the hostess, and then he smiled at the crowd that had gathered.   In the amount of time it had taken Ray to gloat, Miles had pushed the chair he had been sitting in toward Ray, pulled the other chair into position and re-seated himself directly in front of the window.

Miles smiled pleasantly, “Here’s your chair.  This one here is just fine.”

The hostess smiled.   The crowd gasped, and Ray stomped away to another table.

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