Another Perfect Plan by Harold, A Truly Organized Man
As usual, Harold awoke before the alarm announced the new day. He laid in bed awaiting the arrival of a new dawn and a new beginning for his perfect schedule.
When the ringing began, Harold looked up and noticed the sun was not attacking the window as usual, but when he went to open the curtains and look out, he discovered it was just a stray cloud that had blocked the sun. It looked like the weather would be better than even Harold, Perfect Predictor of Organizational Outcomes, could imagine .
He went through his normal routine smoothly. Everything was laid out and prepared the night before to allow for maximum efficiency, so Harold was able to move through each task effortlessly, just as he had planned. When he reached the kitchen, he was pleased to see that the coffee maker was just completing its chore. He had been a bit worried about the coffee since his well used coffee maker had seemed a little sluggish in recent days, but today it was working just like it was new. Harold was certain that it only needed a minor cleaning to be as good as the day he bought it.
When his breakfast was prepared, Harold went to the front door to retrieve the morning paper. He was ready to hunt around for it as was usually the case, but when he opened the door he found the paper lying at his feet.
“The paper boy must have improved his aim,” Harold thought to himself. In reality, the “paper boy” was actually a college student at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota where he aspired to greatness at the Van Wetzel Performing Arts Hall. Harold would never learn this little detail of something that intersected with his daily routine.
As the morning hours passed, Harold began to look forward to his twice weekly trip to the Wild West Restaurant and Sports Bar. He considered this an important part of his Wednesday and Saturday schedules. He dressed in his best, old-fashioned, sports shirt and slacks, found his favorite baseball cap, and made his way to the door in time to make his arrival exactly at the appointed hour.
When he reached his car in the drive way he heard a bit of a commotion down the street. He shot a quick glance down the street fearing his neighbor was headed his way to derail his perfect plan. It was just two old timers, however, talking about the weather or some such time killer and of no importance to Harold. He got into his dependable car and drove away.
There was no trouble finding a nice parking spot and Harold was able to reach the door way of his favorite eating establishment at the exact moment called for by his schedule.
“Hello Harold,” each staff member called out as he looked for his favorite seat in view of a television screen where sports headlines could be seen all through lunch. He was pleased at his good fortune as he waited for someone to come take his order.
“Why, hello there,” a man bellowed behind Harold. Instantly he feared it was his neighbor, Bill, about to disrupt his well-ordered day. But as the person walked by toward another table, Harold discovered it was no one that he knew. There was no Bill to kill off some of his allotted time at the Sports Bar. Harold smiled at his good fortune.
Soon a waitress arrived at his table. “Hello, Harold,” the familiar voice announced. Much to Harold’s surprise, his favorite waitress was looking right at him, pencil and order pad at the ready.
“Tiffany!” Harold exclaimed. “What happened to the girl with the maroon hair?”
“She didn’t work out,” Tiffany said. “So they asked me to come back. I had been working for them at another restaurant.” Harold was all smiles at this news. As he started to order, Tiffany cut him off.
“I know, you want the soup and sandwich special, and iced tea,” Tiffany said with a smile. At that she headed off to take his order to the kitchen.
When the meal was over, Tiffany brought the check to the table. On the back was a big smiley face drawn by the favorite waitress. As she set it down before Harold, she planted a light peck on his check and declared, “It was good to see you again.” And Harold was happy to see her.
He left a more generous tip than was his custom as he was pleased at the perfect outcome of his regular lunch. When he got up to leave, every staff member shouted out to Harold, as if he was some sort of celebrity. “See you soon!” And they would see him soon, on Wednesday for the next Soup and Sandwich Special.
As Harold walked to his car he congratulated himself on scheduling the perfect Saturday.
Related: The “Harold stories” in order: “Soup and Sandwich,” “The Case With The Missing Egg,” “Come Monday, It Will Be Alright,” “A Tuesday Mystery,” “A Tuesday Fantasy With Harold,” “A Wild West Wednesday,” “A Library Lesson,” “Harold and the Tiny Wizard,” “At The Old Ballgame.” Click on any title to jump to that story.