Discount SignI find too often I get all caught up with the busyness of life that I forget some things. For example, last week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I had birthdays.

Our birthdays are only two days apart, which is convenient for me. My birthday is first, and if my wife gets me anything for my birthday, it reminds me I need to get something for her birthday two days later. I could not plan it out any better had I tried.

When we celebrate our birthdays, I know which one I was celebrating but I’m not allowed to mention the one my wife was celebrating. I did that once, but I learned my lesson and I will never, ever do it, ever again. Did I mention ever?

Our week was so busy we really did not have time to formally celebrate our birthdays. We try to do that every year, but this year our schedules did not permit such a celebration.

The following week, however, went a little bit slower and we had a day where by lunchtime we were finished. I suggested to my wife, “Why don’t we go out and celebrate our birthdays at some restaurant?”

Without even blinking, she responded in the affirmative.

“You,” I said as I always say, “pick out the restaurant you would like to go to and we’ll celebrate our birthdays together.”

This has been the procedure all through our life. She gets to pick the restaurant, and I get to pick up the ticket. This has worked most famously for us and as far as I’m concerned, I’m not going to change anything that still works. I have been married too long to jeopardize anything that works.

We got ready and got in the car, I allowed her to drive as I always do, and we headed for the restaurant of her choice. I love it when a plan comes together.

All the way to the restaurant, we were smiling, giggling and just enjoying ourselves.

At the restaurant, the hostess took us to our seat and gave us our menus. We still were smiling and giggling because we had a whole night with nothing to do except celebrate our birthdays.

About halfway through our meal the manager of the restaurant was going around greeting his customers. He came to our table and cheerfully said, “How’s everything going tonight?”

I’m the kind of person that does not like to miss opportunities. Since we were in a state of giggleization, I forgot my manners and responded back to him.

“This is the best,” I said, trying to hold back some giggles, “spaghetti I have ever eaten.”

Of course, the restaurant we were in did not serve spaghetti in any shape, size or form. I just like to have a little bit of fun while I’m eating.

To my great delight, without even blinking an eye, the manager said, “I’m so glad because we’ve been saving that spaghetti for the last six months just for you.”

That was just the beginning of our joking back and forth. The patrons surrounding us were laughing and it was a wonderful joke. He could give-and-take, and I could give-and-take as well. I love it when a plan comes together.

Our waitress came and served our meal and I still could not get away from my state of giggleization. Once I’m there, it’s a hard road for me to back out. So I said to her, “I was just talking to your manager, Michael, and he said if I mentioned to you how lovely you look today you would give me a discount on my bill.”

All the patrons around us were laughing and she looked at me and said, “Okay, I’ll talk to him about it and see what we can do.”

I thought she was just joking and everybody around us was laughing and giggling about it.

Then, she brought the bill for our birthday supper. As I looked at it, I noticed there was a discount line on our ticket. The discount was for one cent. I looked at it, showed it to my wife and we both burst out laughing. A penny discount, as my father used to say, is a penny in my pocket.

I took the ticket up to the cash register to pay it and the cashier looked at it and said, “What’s this?” pointing to the discount line on the ticket. She had no idea what it was.

“It is,” I said, holding back as much of my giggle as possible, “a discount on my meal for this evening.”

“A discount?” she said quizzically, “a discount for what?”

I could tell she was confused and so I told her, “Michael, the manager, said if I told our waitress how lovely she looked tonight we would get a discount on our bill.”

I think that was the first time that ever happened in that restaurant and I’m so glad it happened what we were celebrating our birthday together.

We giggled all the way home that night and I was reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

Some people take life way too seriously. If you know what to laugh at, it certainly will medicate your soul to the point of joyfulness.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail [email protected] The church web site is

Rev James Snyder videoDr. James L. Snyder, is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. James is an award winning author whose books are available at

Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail [email protected]. The church web site is

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