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There’s a story in the Bible that I think is referred to as “Elijah and the Widow.”

Given the current culture in Hollywood, one might think this to be a racy story about a torrid romance. But it’s not.

As the story goes, Elijah went to a village Zarephath during a famine. Elijah asks a widow there for food.

She says, “We got no food. There IS no food in Zaraphath. There’s a famine going on here”

Elijah says, “Just make me a cake. Use that jar of meal and that jug of oil. Trust me on this. The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the LORD sends rain on the earth.”

The widow says, “Whatever.”

And guess what? Elijah got his cake and the jug of oil never emptied and the jar of meal was always full. And they ate for many days.

Which brings me to the point of this week’s entry.

This morning, I went to brush my teeth. I had JUST purchased another tube of toothpaste because the old one looked tapped. But the old one was still functional. EVERY day for the last 30 days, many days, if you will, I was able to squeeze enough toothpaste from the tub to brush my teeth.

I went to the tube again. Folded it from bottom to top and viola. AGAIN, I squeezed enough toothpaste for yet another brushing. They may call it Crest, but I call it Elijah toothpaste. The darn thing never empties. Twist it left, curl it right, there’s always enough to brush my teeth.

Do you ever wonder about product packaging and how the corporate entities design their products JUST to make you think you need more, when you really do not?

The ketchup bottle holds enough to sprinkle on the fries, yet you throw it out with PLENTY left just because you can’t get any more out.

Same with the mustard and mayo. You know damn well there’s more in there, but you just can’t get the last remaining remnants out.

Me, I’ll squeeze it dry until the last vestige of the mustard has vanished. I’ll dip my french fry in the ketchup cap and have plenty to satisfy my need for sauce. I’ll use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the jar for the last of mayo for my turkey sandwich.

Not trying to go all Aesop on you, with a fable, but keep squeezing that last drop. Just when you think it’s empty, maybe there’s a little more left.

FOOTNOTE 1: I have this photo that would make Andy Warhol proud of a seemingly empty tube of toothpaste that was scheduled to be posted. Alas, it would not download on Wedwand. In its stead, the camel of Wedwand is there to help you get over the hump. Use your imagination. I’m sure you have one of these toothpaste tubes in your very own bathroom.

FOOTNOTE 2: Wedwand will be running reruns for a while I work on completing another writing project. Maybe, it will turn into a book. Wish me luck on this venture.

Since 2013, Wedwand has been here weekly with 237 posts and 7,054 reads. Last week was 36. The week before 261.

Sometimes, it feels like that street performer you see singing and say,” Man that guy’s good.” Sometimes, you stop and listen. Sometimes, you walk on by.

If you stopped to read, I thank you

GE DIGITAL CAMERALast month, my wife and I took a vacation to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, thanks to a fortuitous opportunity presented by my sister and brother in law. #thankssis.

How far away July 28, 2016 seemed in May. Yet, time flashed by as it so often will and here it was high noon on the day of departure and I hadn’t even packed. #procrastination

So, I was packing light. I was packing fast. It was the final four of packing. 4 pairs of underwear, 4 pairs of socks, 4 T-shirts.

In my haste, I randomly threw four t-shirts in the suitcase. Then I stopped to consider my selection. T-shirt selection, while not vital, is something to take into account when packing for a vacation, at least in the Wedwand book of vacation travels.

Had this been the 1950’s, there would be no selection to make. Hey there Delilah, there would have been 4 plain white t-shirts in the suitcase. The kind of t-shirt that made James Dean and Marlon Brando and Arthur Fonzarelli look cool while the rest of the world just dorked around wearing the plain white back then.

I readily admit to being overly analytical about my Tee selection when I am on vacation. This involves choosing just the right t-shirt to represent my hometown. People do notice.

While it was a very cool, traditional, almost patriotic navy blue tee with white outlined block red letters saying RED SOX, I put that shirt back in the drawer and exchanged it for a “Black Hawks 2015 Stanley Cup Champion” shirt instead. Got to represent.

A Cubs shirt was a must, since this is the height of baseball season and for one of the few rare times in the past hundred years or so, the Cubs are doing well. I injected a little humor from my stable of Cubs shirts, opting for the “Cubs Back to Back Champions 1907 1908” shirt.

Since we would be travelling roughly over 450 miles on I80 through the state of Nebraska, I selected my Nebraska Football t-shirt just in case the shirt, along with a back-up “Go Big Red” chant would get us out of a jam or just get an extra french fry in the bag while traversing the Cornhusker State.

The 4th shirt was an In-N-Out Burger 60th anniversary t-shirt. It was a sentimental choice since it was a sharp looking shirt as well as a gift from my mom. Got to carry a little memory from her for the trip.
As it turns out, contrary to my wife’s conjecture, there were a few comments on my t-shirts, so my selective packing was not in vain.

A midnight gas station attendant at a truck stop commented that he always cheered for the other team on the south side when he was living in Chicago. He also acknowledged the Cubs great start this year, but added, “I think they’re too young to win it all.”

I simply smiled and nodded, adding, “Yeah, them Sox were good” lapsing into the country twang I invoke when I traverse to other parts of this fair nation.

On Saturday, I dropped a water bottle on the way to a mountain side concert. A teen-aged girl was kind enough to pick it up for me. She smiled and said kindly, “I’ve got it, Sir” as she picked it up from the path. Bless her heart.

As I turned to retrieve it, her boyfriend added, “Go Hawks.” I didn’t expect that in Colorado Avalanche hockey country.
On Tuesday, we took a tour of some of the natural springs in the Steamboat area. Who knew? In addition to the namesake springs, there’s also the Soda Spring, the Black Sulphur Spring and the Lithia Spring just to name a few.

By way of introduction, the tour guide was asking where people were from. When he came to me, after seeing the T-shirt logo from the popular Golden State burger joint, he confidently stated, “You must be from California.”

“No, Chicago,” I replied, dashing his conjecture, “But I do like to have me an In-N-Out burger when I’m there.”
Turned out the guide originally hailed from Chicago too. The t-shirt was a conversation starter.

While the Nebraska shirt garnered no comments on the trip, I traveled untrammeled through the Cornhusker state and just might have gotten a little extra meat on my Runza at a North Platte truck stop.

My wife thinks I’m nuts. I think I’m shrewd with this selective t-shirt vacation packing. What do you think?

I opened the spice cabinet above the stove with a stew brewing underneath. An easy task. Degree of difficulty, normally 1.5.

Suddenly 5 jars of spices toppled out unexpectedly. I juggled a couple, but ultimately caught them all. Really, I did. Saved the stew. Won the event. Won the Gold.

I looked for the cheers from the crowd and felt like spiking the paprika and doing a victory dance. Alas, I was alone. (So often, great moments happen when nobody is watching.) So, I applauded myself on my cat-like reflexes that still remained for that golden moment in time.

I found the step stool in the corner of the kitchen, proudly moved up to the top of it and sang the National Anthem. OK, I found a vintage Vanilla Ice CD and sang a different anthem, “Spice spice baby…”

That’s a paraphrase from a 2013 post on a real event in my kitchen. (1)

Last Sunday, it was a fall from grace. An OH NO moment as a once stellar participant shows how father time just may have caught up with the reflexes. The agony of defeat if you will.

This time, I opened the spice cabinet looking for a garlic clove. I found it, BUT when I grabbed for the bag, a random sifter plummeted. I caught the sifter, but as I did, it hit a box of 75 count flat wooden toothpicks.

I had no chance. I tapped it briefly but didn’t get a clean grab, causing some to land on the burners and some to hit the countertop, but the box fell to the floor and a whole lot of toothpicks scattered all about the tiles.

There was no glorious stand on the podium this time, no celebratory music, but a humbling drop to my knees to play pick-up sticks, little teeny sticks.

Speaking of Olympic Gold, there have been several golden moments in broadcasting from the Rio game that I have heard. Here are three:

A) It’s so hot, it’s powdered doughnut night on the Copacabana Beach Volleyball court.

B) He Zi couldn’t make that dive again for all the tea in China.

C) After a brief RAIN delay, Renaud Lavillenie, the REIGNING champion is next up in the pole vault.

OK. Only two if those really were quotes. Which one is a fabrication? Answer in footnotes (2). No peeking.

This week’s Wedwand was originally written on Wednesday, but in the true spirit of the network’s Olympic broadcasts, I are sharing the typed delay publication on Thursday.

(1) The above edited excerpt was from an original post on August 28, 2013. Here is the post in its entirety:

(2) The correct answer for the incorrect quote is B. He Zi is indeed a diver from China, but no reference was ever made to He Zi’s China tea.

Quote A was from the Beach Volleyball bronze medal match where the contestants were coated with sand from diving after volleyballs.

Quote C was in the men’s pole vault final and whether by intent or happenstance, the announcers several times referred to the raining champion after a reign delay.