February 4, 2016

Potatoes: a Short Story

Sometimes, I get left alone at the desk at work when I'm tired and interesting things happen.  The following is one such thing, very loosely based on and more or less inspired by a true story.

Chapter One

Once upon a time, there was a little farm town that looked like it was plopped right down in the middle of a cornfield. Well, actually it had been plopped down right in the middle of a cornfield when the government was experimenting with Whole Town Relocation™ (WTR). It was successful, but then Space Oreos ™ became a thing and everyone forgot about Potatoes. That was the name of the town, Potatoes.

So once upon a time, the Potatoes Academy received a newspaper – something that only happened every other year – and saw an ad singing the praises of the Great Glazier Clinic for Sports ™. It boasted talks about all sorts of sportsy topics and vendors selling sportsy things. No sooner had the girls softball coach laid eyes on the ad than she knew she had to make it to this clinic. It was the only way her girls would ever make it out of Potatoes and into a Real College Not Online ™.

She scrimped and saved and the girls ran corn shucking fundraisers until she had just enough money to pay an Amishman to take her in his wagon to the nearest train station, which eventually took her to a rental car company where she drove all the way to the great city of Oak Brook. It seemed like a future was in store for her softball girls.

Chapter Two

When the coach pulled up in front of the hotel, she could have sworn she’d never seen anything so big in all her goshdarn life. They didn’t have hotels in Potatoes. They only had houses, a bank and rusty saloon because the government had done the WTR ™ experiment back in 1902, before there were hotels and the housing technology had never advanced since. No one came to Potatoes that would stay in a hotel, anyhow.

The coach dragged her suitcase that she’d ordered off of Amazon up the walkway and down the Mile Long Hallway ™ to the Really Great Front Desk ™ where she breathlessly announced her last name, and asked if she could check into her room, please. The very kind Front Desk Assistant Manager ™ took her drivers license and credit card for incidentals (in case of any charges or damages to the room).

That’s when disaster nearly struck for the softball coach, the girls softball team and the whole town of Potatoes. Her debit card declined! The coach only had $25 in her wallet so she couldn’t leave the $50 Deposit in cash. Stunned, she told the Front Desk Assistant Manager ™ that she would go check into the Great Glazier Clinic for Sports ™ and try to get some cash. She called her bank, the only bank in Potatoes, and found to her dismay that her account was overdrawn. How had it happened?

In great distress, the coach made her way back to the Really Great Front Desk ™, where she told the also very nice Front Desk Agent of her plight. The FDA listened sympathetically to her tale and took pity on her, saying that if she wanted - $10 deposit would do.

A ray of sunshine broke through the ceiling (they never did figure out how that happened) and shone down on the elated softball coach. She thanked the very nice FDA, accepted her keys and fairly skipped down the hall and up the elevator to her room. She instantly called home to tell her softball girls the whole story, and by midnight it had made the first paragraph of the Potatoes Informational Email ™. The Potatoes girls would have a future after all!