I attended an informational meeting at work recently about running in a 5K race. The meeting was intended to be a “brown bag” lunch, meaning it was during the lunch period and you were encouraged to bring your lunch and eat it during the presentation.

My lunch that day was left-over pizza. I got hungry a little early and didn’t really want to look like some sort of bad-nutrition loser to all the fitness freaks I imagined being there so I ate before I went. I took the deception a bit further by toting an apple with me to the meeting. Look what healthy choices I make!

I never felt comfortable crunching noisily on the apple, however, so it sat undisturbed for the duration of the meeting. Afterwards, I carried it with me when I walked up front to ask the presenter some questions. We ended up talking for some time and even practiced some new stretching techniques before I headed back to my desk.

Once there, I started craving something sweet – a common occurence after lunch. As I thought about getting some chocolate or maybe an ice cream sandwich out of the freezer, I remembered my apple. Sweet and healthy!

And not present. Where is my apple?

I replayed events through my head. I definitely picked it up from the table when the presentation was over. I walked straight back so no opportunity for losing it on the way. Oh… I bet I set it down when we did those stretches. Darnit. Suddenly, nothing sounded as good as eating that crisp, sweet apple.

I decided to send an email to the organizer of the meeting since I would be in her building later that afternoon. Maybe I’d be lucky and she picked it up and took it to her desk. I entitled the email “apple?” and sent the following:

I think I left my apple sitting up front while I was talking to Amanda [the presenter]. If you happened to have been the person that picked it up, can I maybe grab it when I come by this afternoon? πŸ™‚

Her reply was remarkably formal and had me laughing. I wasn’t wanting to make a big deal out of it.

Hi S,

Please email Amanda about the apple.

Thank you,

To be extra helpful, she copied Amanda on the email, who in turn managed to respond before I could.

Hi S,

It is on the podium in the meeting room. Unless someone picked it up after I walked out.

Regards, Amanda

As I contemplated whether I wanted the apple enough to walk back down to that building, Wendee responded:


The meeting room is locked. I can go and get it for you.


Oh, my. I’m not even sure it’s worth my effort! Much less someone else’s! So I replied:

Wendee, it’s really not a big deal. I mean, it is just an apple. I’d hate for it to rot in there and make a mess though. If you do happen to stop by and get it sometime before 2:00, then great, I’ll pick it up from you. If not, I’ll just eat some ice cream and call it good. (just kidding)

She didn’t respond and I knew. I knew why. She had stopped what she was doing and jumped up to go retrieve my precious apple. I was really starting to feel bad. About ten minutes later, she wrote back one last time.

LOL!! Snacks are very important! I have your apple pleasantly hanging out on my desk in my office. You better come before 3pm or I will eat it! πŸ™‚


So, I stopped by and picked up my apple. And made sure I ate it. If the fitness guru went to so much effort to return it to me, the least I could do was eat it instead of the ice cream sandwich.

A Hal to Standard English Translation

As I have said before, Hal is a very amusing child to listen to. Here are some of his best or more common phrases, along with my translations for the uninitiated.

β€œI want to go to the popcorn place.” – I want to go to the movie theater.

β€œI want to go to the soup place.” – I want to go to the Chinese restaurant.

β€œI am going to hop like a broken kangaroo.” – I am going to hop on one leg.

“I am hungry for some apples.” – I would like an apple, preferably sliced.

“I want a bacon nugget cheese biscuit.” – I want a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. Translation credit for this one goes to Daryl.

“I need a new whistle in my mouth because mine is broken. The one in my mouth is.” – I don’t know how to whistle.

β€œMy tummy is thirsty for some sweet tea.” – I want some sweet tea but I think you will tell me no so I am hoping to convince you that it is what my body needs.

β€œMy tummy is telling me that I really need a drink of water.” – I am bored in the worship service but you’ve rejected my claim of being thirsty as a valid reason to leave so I am hoping that you will listen to my tummy.