A happy Thanksgiving story

Climbing Daddy, Tall Daddy, Rocket Kid, and I went out of town for Thanksgiving. (You can see some of the photos in Sunday’s post.)

For Thanksgiving dinner, we had a 3:30 reservation for a buffet at a small-town restaurant not far from where we were staying. 

The hostess didn’t have us on the reservation list and thought for a moment about what to do.

For that long moment, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to eat or if we’d need to scramble to figure out a new plan.

Maybe because they closed at 5, maybe because someone earlier yelled at her, maybe something else, but after her pause, she said sure, go ahead in.

Apparently we weren’t the only ones who had made reservations and weren’t on the list; the problem was attributed to whoever was working two days prior.

Regardless, we were able to eat. They served some standard Thanksgiving foods (turkey, potatoes, stuffing), other foods (ribeye, omelette station, mac and cheese), salad, and a few desserts.

Quantities ran low, which I assume is where the hostess’s hesitation rooted, but everything was tasty and sufficient.

The waiter—who we needed only for drinks—was so full of personality and fun to interact with. I’d love to have him as my waiter any time. 

Eventually, it was time to square up.

“Well, your total is $4.40.”

What? Dinner was $20 per person (less for the under-12) and while three of the four of us drank water, Climbing Daddy had a beer.

Someone in the restaurant had counted heads and paid for everyone’s meal. Folks needed to pay for their own drinks, but dinner was on him. He also left a $10 tip for each diner.

So we owed $4.40 for a beer.

There were over 30 people in the restaurant at the time.

Even if no one else gave him an additional tip, the waiter still did well.

The waiter was flabbergasted, and his gregariousness made the tale even more spectacular. We were amazed.

I’ve heard stories like this but I’ve never witnessed one. 

Someone having dinner in this little town—whether a resident or a passer-by—spent roughly $1,000 to pay for a bunch of strangers’ dinners.

It was a delightful surprise for those of us dining.

I imagine it was a delightful act of giving for the mystery buyer.

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