Tales From The Road

I spend much of my time on the road, spreading the gospel of CEO, working with communities who want to have their own CEO program, and working with our classes.

love it.  I get to meet lots of interesting people and see lots of interesting places.

Thought I’d take this opportunity to share some random thoughts and observations from life on the road.

How Do I Look?

It’s 2:00 on a Tuesday afternoon, I’m in a tiny town in southwestern Illinois, and I just found out I’m two hours early for a meeting.

So, like any good traveler, I drive around town looking for the Dairy Queen.  Saw the “Dairy Barn”, which looked like a place that was still on the front end of the ice cream process.  Had a broken down sign by the road that said, “Still Open”.  The fact that the establishment felt it necessary to address that point so publicly made me less than excited about having ice cream there.

Found the Dairy Queen, and the gentleman in front of me, who had to be in his 80’s, with the velcro tennis shoes and everything, asked for the senior discount.  The woman at the counter acted all flustered, like she wasn’t sure he qualified.  She looked him up and down and finally shrugged and said, “Okay”.

I stepped up to the counter to order a medium chocolate sundae, light on the chocolate sauce.  The woman said, “That will be $2.28 please”.  Being the good guy I am, I said, “Are you sure?  The sign says it’s $2.39.”

Without missing a beat, the woman smiled and said, “I gave you the senior discount.”


I said, “So let me get this straight.  Elmer there, who looks like he’s on his way to the funeral home to start the embalming process-you’re not sure if he’s a senior citizen.  Looking at me, though, leaves no doubt in your mind?”

Actually, I just said thanks.  It’s Dairy Queen, after all, and the point is ice cream, not age discrimination.

Am I Bothering You?

Visited a fast food place today.  The girl behind the counter walked up to the register and just looked at me.  I said, “Uuh…can I order?”  She just nodded, ever so slightly, and blinked slowly.

So I told her what I wanted, and she said, “Is that for here?”  I said yes, and she said, “Go ahead and order.”

Sure.  Just wanted to make sure I prefaced my order with, well, my order.

I received 96 cents in change, and she gave it to me in nine dimes, a nickel, and a penny.  No “sorry about that”, just dumped it into my hand.

She eventually placed the food on a tray and slid it to me.  I said, “Ummm, could I have a fork?”  Same slow blink, and a fork appeared from beneath the counter. ‘”Thanks, and maybe a cup?”

I said, “Would it be okay if I thumped you in the middle of the forehead? Would that help you? If I shaved my eyebrows and shouted, ‘You Can’t See MEE!!!’ would you awaken from your stupor and join the living?”

Actually I didn’t.  I thanked her.  Again.

And she responded by looking at me, and blinking slowly.

I Don’t Wanna BE Your Kitten

At dinner tonight, the waitress said, “Everything okay, my kitten?”

Indeed.  Nice, I guess…but…I don’t want to be her kitten.

The girl who checked me in at the hotel was named Oceania, and I would have considered being her “sea turtle”, if asked.

You’re Gonna Sit Next To Me???

I had just boarded a flight from Atlanta to Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Packed flight, but it appeared as though the only empty seat on the plan might be next to me.

Then, a woman, late middle aged, dressed very nicely, made eye contact with me in the sort of,  “sorry, that’s my seat” look people give one another on an airplane.

I stood so she could take the window seat, and as she moved past me, she said,  “I owe you an apology.  I st…”

At that instant, a horrible stench wafted over me.  Wow.  Pungent, thick, the sort of smell that sticks on your skin.

“…ink.   I just threw up all over myself as I ran from my last flight.  I had to decide whether to get cleaned up or miss the flight, and I decided to catch the flight.”


Madame passenger evidently got hold of some bad pizza in Denver, and that pizza decided to ask for a return ticket as she ran through the airport in Atlanta.

As we prepared to land, she leaned over to me and said, ‘I think it’s coming back for another round.”


Hope she understood why I parachuted outta there.

Mystery Solved

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself, “Where the heck do they keep the best in food, and where can I get it in short order?”

Well, it’s in Hutchinson, Minnesota.



Mystery solved.