We don’t get a lot of visitors out here at Custom Box Service. There aren’t too many people who need to visit a box factory, and even fewer who are willing to drive nearly to Molalla to do so. Still, from time-to-time a customer does drop by.

Just now a long-time customer whom I’d never met stopped by. He’s an older guy who’s done a lot of business with us. I gave him a tour of the place and talked up our history, as I always do with guests. We paused outside in the shop and chatted about market conditions. At one point, he made a little joke and to emphasize the punch line, he reached over and patted my belly: pat pat pat.

We wandered outside and he told me some about his company. He talked about how they treat their salespeople differently than most places, paying more than twice as much in commission. To make his point, he reached over and patted my belly: pat pat pat.

Inside, I introduced him to Jeff and Nick. We chatted some more, and then made our farewells. As he was leaving the office, he said, “It was good to meet you,” and then he reached over and patted my belly: pat pat pat.

If I wasn’t on a diet before, I am now.

7 Replies to “How to Get Me to Exercise and to Eat Right”

  1. Amy Jo says:

    I don’t care how nice or friendly he was. That is weird and my instinct would have been to smack him.

  2. Lynn says:

    That’s more than a little creepy. When you said goodbye you should have reached over and patted his bum: pat,pat,pat.

  3. john says:

    I believe I would have had the urge to pat ,pat, pat him upside the head.

  4. Scott II says:

    You can’t make up stuff like that — that is golden! Steal those moments and somehow let them be reborn within your creative writings. People remember small moments like those.

    As to be violent toward the mad patter, come on?Strange fellow, yes . . . worthy of a black eye, far from it.

    People like that are truly the salt. I mean he definitely crosses the line, but in such a whimsical way. Golden.

  5. kristi says:

    Are you kidding me??

    I am very pregnant and this would be the only acceptable time to pat, pat a person’s belly (but even then you are asking for a smack upside the head – there are many ma-mas-to-be who don’t appreciate their beautiful growing bodies!).

    Too funny!

  6. Andrew Parker says:

    Rub the Buddha, make you lucky.

  7. John says:


    Who the hell is Pat?



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