I need your help again. I have a favorite story that is gonna become obsolete soon, for reasons that will be obvious. I hate to lose the story, because it shows how with adversity, sometimes there is opportunity. Let me tell it, and afterwards maybe you can help me find a way to change and perpetuate it:
Anxiously, he worked his way to the Vicar's office....
His old boss and friend of 35 years was dead, victim of a heart attack.
Now he was to meet the new Vicar, a man much younger than he, and find out what duties might be expected of him.
He had been Custodian of this Anglican Church for all these years.
Dyslexic, his classmates had been cruel with their teasing. They made such fun of him, he quit school early and was lucky to nail down this job. He was a hard worker, and had maintained a wonderful relationship with the recently departed Vicar.
He and his wife lived a modest, but comfortable life on his wages. They had even socked some money away for their eventual retirement.
Entering the office, he relaxed immediately when he saw the new Vicar's smile and extended hand.
His new boss explained that his work would basically remain the same, with a few additional duties. Then the Vicar dropped the bombshell:
"Now and again, I'll need you to do some Secretarial duties."
"But Vicar, I can't read or write, much less type!"
"Oh my. That IS a problem."
After much discussion, it became obvious the Custodian could not remain in his position.
The Vicar reluctantly had to let him go.
Shaken, the newly fired Custodian leaves the Church.
He pats his pocket....... finds an empty pack.
"Bloody Hell, I should have bought cigarettes on the way to work!"
He needed a cigarette, NOW!
And although he had worked at this Church for 35 years, he really didn't know the surrounding neighborhood all that well. He walked several blocks looking for a tobacconist, to no avail. When he finally stopped and asked directions to the nearest shop, he had to walk several blocks further to get there.
Discussing the situation with his wife, he mentioned how much difficulty he had trying to find a cigarette when he desperately needed one.
Then the light bulb flashed as they both came to the same realization-
That neighborhood needed a tobacco shop!
They withdrew all their savings to start the store. It was a desperate move, but what other recourse did they have?
Their store was an immediate success.
Thereafter, the old Custodian and his wife surveyed other neighborhoods, finding those that had no tobacco store. Soon, he and his wife were managing dozens of stores, and were approached by a large retail concern to buy their business. He and his wife were ready for retirement, so they agreed to sell for a tidy sum.
Closing the deal, the buyer's lawyer handed him a contract to sign.
He responded, "I'll have to allow my lawyer to review this, I can't read or write."
The buyer's lawyer was surprised-
"Imagine how successful you'd have been, had you been able to read and write!"
To which our friend responded, "Yes, I know exactly how successful I would have been......
I'd still happily be Custodian of the Anglican Church just down the street!"
Smoking is under fire. Whole cities are making it illegal to smoke within their boundaries.
I'm seeing more and more "At least I can still smoke in my car" bumper stickers.
Like it or not, it's gonna get more and more difficult to practice the habit.
And that dooms my story.
I'm at a loss to think of any product that will fit in place of tobacco. The story revolves around the fact that the Custodian is so stressed he needs his fix, and he needs it quickly!
Will it work with any product that is not addictive?
Is my favorite story doomed to the scrap heap?
Will I need to just preface it with the setup that "long ago, cigarettes were legal"?
Do you smart folks have a suggestion?