(A chapter from my latest book, now available, “Grandma Told Me to Never Believe Anything Grandpa Says.” As is obvious from the picture, I'm not a photographer but that's the fridge.)
It doesn’t hurt as much when you get fired if there is a four-year-old grandkid waiting for you at home. Trust me.
The day that the new boss at CBS News, Radio nodded in agreement when I asked if he wanted me to leave, I was feeling a little worthless, although it had been clear for a long time that I no longer belonged there.
Heading for the train home, I stepped off a curb into ankle-deep water, adding to my sense of accomplishment. Things got brighter after I walked into the house and saw that a young granddaughter was there.
She wasn’t, however, her usual cheerful self. She had a sad tale of her own to relate.
A boy she really liked at her babysitter’s was moving to Buffalo.
“I’ll never see him again,” she said in her saddest voice.
“Well, maybe he’ll come back to Long Island sometime to visit, and you’ll see him then,” I replied.
“I don’t know. He’s moving to Buffalo!”
I patted her on the head, trying to console her. I clearly remember that, in relaying this painful story to me, she was standing right in front of the refrigerator while I was holding an empty glass in my hand, a glass begging to take on its nightly cargo of ice and bourbon.
She was my granddaughter, and she was not in my way. She had my full attention and sympathy as I reached over her head into the freezer compartment and grabbed a fistful of ice.
Her story went on; I kept listening and commenting, plopping ice and pouring bourbon into my glass. My concentration never lagged even while I was taking that first wonderful sip of the best Kentucky has to offer.
Who knows if the loveable boy ever made his way back to Long Island to see his relatives? The moral of this tale is twofold: never buy a refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom rather than on the top, and if you get fired, try to have a short person on the premises when you arrive home even if you have to rent one for the evening.