Monday, November 29, 2010

Stock Boys Need Charity Too

By: C.G. Morelli

There’s nothing I hate more in life than cheesy forwarded messages designed to make you think about how lucky you are to be alive, or on God’s great Earth, or a member of the NRA. I simply can’t stand it when my inbox is flooded with crap that claims I’ve somehow inherited ten million bucks from a deceased medicine man who made a fortune curing yellow fever along the Congo. And, trust me, there’s no bigger panty-buncher than a freaking chain letter that’s plastered from top to bottom with pink, little hearts and flashing stars and claims your life will effectively come to an end if you don’t forward it to at least six trillion people in the next four seconds.

Bottom line, my cursor is planted directly over the delete button in cases such as this.

But today, one of these nasty, disgusting, despicable little letters somehow broke through my normally impenetrable defense. I don’t know how it happened. Maybe I’m getting a little slow in my old age. I couldn’t tell you. The point is, I was faced with a difficult decision: Should I delete it without another thought? Or should I read it?  Was there some kind of divine intervention here that brought me together with this letter? Or was it a meaningless pile of dung like all the others?

I decided to take a chance. I read it and was quite surprised by what was revealed. I took the liberty of reprinting the letter here in its entirety. Like most chain letters, I obviously have no clue where this one originated. If I did, I’d have to give its creator a surprising bit of love.  See for yourself:

(Oh, and a bonus for you. Forwarding this message to less than 20 people will not result in death by firing squad.)

The Parable of Kurtis the Stock Boy and Brenda the Checkout Girl:
In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy was busily working when a new voice came over the loud speaker asking for a carry out at Register Four.  Kurtis was almost finished stocking mouthwash, and wanted to get some fresh air, so he decided to answer the call.

As he approached the checkout stand, a distant smile caught his eye. The new checkout girl was beautiful! Kurtis was immediately in love.

Later that day, (after his shift was over) he waited by the punch clock to find out her name. She came into the break room, smiled softly at him, took her card, punched out, and then left.  He looked at her card: BRENDA. He peeked outside only to see her walking up the road.  

The next day he waited outside as she left the supermarket and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again outside of work.  She simply said it wasn't possible.

He pressed and she explained she had two children and she couldn't afford a babysitter, so he offered to foot the bill.  Reluctantly she accepted his offer for the following Saturday.  When he arrived at her door the following week, however, she again told him she couldn’t go on the date. The babysitter had called and canceled.

"Well, let's just take the kids with us," Kurtis said with a smile.

She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again Kurtis pressed on. He would not be denied. Finally, Brenda brought him inside to meet her children. She introduced Kurtis to her daughter, who he thought was cuter than a bug. Then Brenda brought out her son. He was in a wheelchair, born a paraplegic with Down ’s syndrome.

"I still don't understand why the kids can't come with us," Kurtis said unfazed.

Brenda was amazed. Most men she’d met would run away from a woman with two kids - especially if one had disabilities. Her first husband and the father of her children had done it, so why not Kurtis? 

You see, Kurtis was not your ordinary guy. He’d been born with a slightly different mindset.
That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, and went to dinner and a movie. Whenever her son needed anything at all, Kurtis was there to take care of him. When he needed to use the restroom, Kurtis didn’t hesitate to lift him from the wheelchair and help him along. It became clear on that first night that Brenda’s kids loved Kurtis.  At the end of the evening, she knew this was the man she’d marry and spend the rest of her life with. A year later they were married, and Kurtis adopted both of Brenda’s children. Since then they’ve added two more kids.

So what happened to Kurtis the stock boy and Brenda the check out girl?

Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in Arizona , where he’s currently employed as the next great quarterback to come out of least that’s how Arizona Cardinals fans put it.  

Even now, when Kurt, Brenda and their children go out to eat dinner, he has one of the kids pick out a random family eating at the restaurant. Kurt then tells the wait staff he’s picking up the tab for that family's dinner anonymously. He remembers the days he was working nights in the grocery store and feeding his family on food stamps.

A Few Thoughts:
After reading this letter my first reaction was: “Damn it, Kurt! You knocked my team out in the NFC Championship twice already. But how can I hate you now?”

When this initial (and somewhat misdirected) frustration subsided, however, I found myself feeling pretty good for Mr. Warner.


Because he’s nothing but a regular Joe. He understands what it’s like to be at the bottom and fight his way to the top. He values the people around him regardless of their position in life. He exudes sympathy and empathy for others. He possesses a strong core of values and puts them to use even beyond the football field. He is, first and foremost, a giver. And he was one long before he had anything to give.

There’s little doubt, my friends, the stock boy deserved everything that came his way.

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