Curmudgeon & Friends LLC is not a major corporation – it turns out the employee force numbers three (not counting Jay who is the employer, such as he is). There is Bill who is the alternate bus driver, mediator, wise one, web-based knower of all things worth knowing, and a gentle personality off-set to that of the Curmudgeon when he is being most curmudgeonly. Then there is his wife Pat, who is his main support system for the day trips he now runs year ‘round, this being his retirement business. Pat makes lunch, gives a “rear assist” to the ladies who have trouble navigating the steps up into the bus, and many other things. I am the Curmudgeon’s web-master, maintaining his web site and calendar.
Early evening the four of them arrived at my home and came in for a few minutes which turned out to be award time. Bill received the Employee of the Year(s) award for years 1999-2009 but for one – I’m not sure what Bill did that he fell out of favor one year… I received the Employee of the Year award for 2010 (and was told as much last year about this time). And Pat received the award for 2011. Following that there was the presentation of gifts: to Bill went a booklet of Red Sox trivia with the instruction that he was to use it to maintain morale on our next trip (Bill is an avid Sox follower so he probably doesn’t need the answer sheet – and will likely use this when there is an uprising among the friends I mean “clients” [ when things are not going well we shift from being friends to being clients]); I received river shoes – should I ever entertain the thought of going tubing with the Curmudgeon again (unlikely) I will have proper footwear; and Pat got a CD of Broadway tunes (which Jay admitted had come for free in the mail). Impressed?
Then we piled into the car and headed into Boston. We ended up at Shabu-Ya in Harvard Square. Shabu-Ya is a Korean restaurant…we could not figure out how the heck Jay settled on this… This was the reason: they serve “hot pots” or “shabu shabu” which according to the restaurant’s web site “was eaten by Genghis Kahn and his hordes of fierce warriors as they trekked across the harsh terrains of Central Asia.” Jay said he thought of Genghis Kahn as “the original Curmudgeon”! We ate meat and vegetable that we cooked in our own broth. I opted for Korean spicy broth ($3 extra) while the others went for the free beef broth (smile). We ate with chopsticks, laughed, and looked at each other through clouds of steam!
After that we walked – and walked – and walked. Was there an end in sight? Yes there was. We ended up at Sanders Theatre on the Harvard campus for this year’s production of The Revels. None of us had ever seen The Revels – it was colorful and very fun.
When we left the theater for yet another loooong walk – this time really heading for the car – it was pouring rain, and the wind was whipping. As we crossed streets and walked through puddles I cried out “I want my river shoes!!!” but alas, they were safe, warm and dry at home. The only bad news of the night was a parking ticket on the car once we arrived – which Bill and I, already vying for 2012 Employee of the Year, offered up money to pay…