Gracias Tía Bee!

May 4, 2010

in Humor/Satire,The BEST of TRC

Aunt Bee got me a Starbucks card!

Aunt Bee

..well, technically she wasn’t really Aunt Bee, but the story still bears telling.

I once worked as a security dispatcher at the Hollywood & Highland complex right there on Hollywood Boulevard. I was cooped up all day in a camera surveillance room in the security office and our receptionist was a lady named Addie, who we used to call “Aunt Bee” due to her unfortunate resemblance to the character from the Andy Griffith show, played by the late Francis Bavier.

I say “unfortunate” because Addie was approximately 35 years old and it’s probably not the most desirable thing for a woman of that age to be compared to Aunt Bee, but hey – she brought it on herself with the hair-do that she wore.

Addie herself didn’t bear an exact resemblance — it was more like she was the Aunt Bee TYPE. She wore a security uniform because she was technically a security officer, but in that respect she was more like Barney Fife. She was also Latino, so picture an Aunt Bee/Barney Fife type Latino woman of about 35, and you’ve got Addie — not too many of those out there.

Even though she was a security officer, they assigned her to the reception desk because they had reservations about putting her out into the complex where she’d have to deal with the riff raff. I’m sure they thought that if she were sent to disburse a group of gang members who were loitering, that instead of approaching with her hand on her mace, she’d be carrying a picnic basket of fried chicken with sweet tater pie for dessert. She’d probably scold them for loitering and then give them a little lecture about how they should be in school. Then, after they’d finished their fried chicken and sweet tater pie, they’d slit her throat.

Addie wasn’t the shiniest bullet in Barney’s shirt pocket either, which is probably why she let us call her Aunt Bee in the first place. The real Aunt Bee could probably whip her in an IQ test — if you can imagine that — so I myself had reservations about having her assigned to the reception desk. But it was better than having her out among the thieves and gang members, and she was a nice lady.

One time she offered to get me something at the nearby Starbucks. She was going down there on her break and while asking me to cover the phones for her, she offered to buy me a coffee, which was her routine. She was always offering to do something for someone, which is another way that she was just like that beloved matronly icon of Mayberry.

I politely declined and thanked her for the offer because my own break was coming up shortly, and I was planning to head down there myself. When she returned to the office about fifteen minutes later she popped into the camera room to let me know she was back, and to give me a nice little Starbucks gift card that she’d picked up.

David,” she said, “it’s nearing Christmas and when I saw this card I thought of you because you’re always so nice, and it’s such a pretty card, I thought you’d like the design on it.”

It WAS a nice gift card!  It was one of the holiday designs with holly and ivy on it, so I thanked her very much and tucked it into my shirt pocket for use on my upcoming break. About a half an hour later I’d placed my order for a grande cappuccino and handed the card to the young lady behind the counter, all the while thinking of how sweet it was of Addie to treat me like this.

“I’m sorry, sir, but the card is empty.”

“Huh? It can’t be.. our receptionist was just down here less than an hour ago and she got it for me.”

“I’m sorry, but there’s no money on it.. it’s an empty card.”

I paid cash for my cappuccino and stopped at the reception desk on my way back into the office.

“Addie, uh.. thanks again for the card.”

“Oh, David, you’re so welcome! It’s such a pretty card, I just knew you’d love it!”

“I do, Addie, I do! Hey did you know you can put money on those things too? Like a gift card.. did you know that?”

Her mouth fell open and she looked at me like I’d just told her that Opie had robbed a liquor store.

“NO! Really? I just saw it in a little stack by the register so I grabbed it for you. Gosh I should have done that! That would have made for an even better Christmas gift!”

I smiled and patted her arm.

“That’s okay, Addie, don’t worry about it.. maybe next time.. I’ll just keep it right here in my wallet so that it’ll always remind me of you.”

I returned to the camera room having learned a small lesson on the value of the meaning behind gifts. It’s not just a cliché that it’s the thought that counts, so I want every single one of my blog readers to head down to the nearest Starbucks and grab one of those little gift cards that you’ll find by the register.

Be sure and pick the nicest one and just slip it right into your pocket – it’s on me, and you deserve it for being such a faithful reader!

You’re welcome.

The Andy Griffith Show

Tell the WORLD..
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lorna September 6, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Dave, I subscribed to your website, but like reading the blog better than the e-mail, so I think I’ll unsubscribe. I check your elegant little spot every day anyway.

Hola, tia bee!


2 Scott September 6, 2007 at 5:00 pm

That’s frickin’ awesome.


3 Rhodester September 6, 2007 at 7:42 pm

That’s okay Lorna, all of those options are there to give people choices, but of course anyone can just visit the old fashioned way by bookmarking it and coming to the site.

I’m glad you told me though, because if I checked the subscriber count and saw that I was down one, I’d certainly cry. You don’t want to see that.


4 Rhodester September 6, 2007 at 7:44 pm

She was SO nice too, I almost felt bad about relating this whole account but I needed blog fodder. Blog fodder comes first.


5 Rhodester September 6, 2007 at 7:46 pm

Thanks for dropping by, Scott.. my wife was curious about you, so she checked out your blog. She said it’s definitely worth a visit, so I’m on my way.


6 Scott September 7, 2007 at 8:45 pm

I’m flattered. Look forward to hearing from you!


7 Fred H Schlegel May 4, 2010 at 5:15 am

Never quite realized the power of the designs on those cards. Great tale.
.-= Fred H Schlegel´s brilliant blustering.. What are you selling? =-.


8 RhodesTer May 4, 2010 at 6:46 am

Not a lot of power, really.. Addie was easily manipulated by bright, shiny things.


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