Kathy Crosby, wife of Ed, the (then) second baseman for the Cleveland Indians, wanted to lose weight. Her husband encouraged her and daily asking for an update. At first, she was proud of the scale’s readings and couldn’t wait to share the good news with Ed. But after a while, she realized he was “too” on board, “too” bossy about ways to expedite her weight loss.
One day, when Ed was out of town on a road trip, Kathy decided to cheat. Kentucky Fried Chicken was just around the corner. Surely a piece—or three—of white meat, a scoop—or two—of mashed potatoes, and a biscuit—or two–couldn’t hurt. Plus, her husband would never know. When he would return late that night and ask, she would say she had done well. After all, “well” is relative, right?
What Kathy did not know was that the local KFC had prepared a huge celebration for the one-millionth customer who crossed its threshold. You can guess who that was. As soon as Kathy placed her order, a trio of bagpipe players, the Cleveland press, dignitaries from the home office and all the KFC employees surrounded a stunned Kathy. Presenting her with a bouquet of balloons and enough chicken coupons to last a lifetime, my friend stood by, looking like she had just swallowed a barnyard of eggs.
When Ed came home that night, Kathy picked him up at the airport. It took no time for him to ask how her diet was progressing. She talked about how disciplined she had been and how she had done so well. Relative, right? Ed was proud and told her so.
The next morning, while reading the Cleveland Press newspaper, Ed noticed a photo of someone who strongly resembled his wife. So strongly did she resemble his wife that he read the article. Enter Kathy. Ed pointed to the picture and asked if that would happen to be the same person—who just happened to be named Kathy Crosby– who had “done so well.”
“Who has ever been serenaded with BAGPIPES?” Kathy moaned at the ballgame that evening. “We’re in Ohio, not Scotland, for goodness sakes.” My friend had been caught, greasy-handed. We wives were hysterical by the time she finished wailing.
Let’s be honest. Who of us hasn’t been guilty of fudging a little to avoid disappointing or displeasing someone we care about? (Pause here. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this article is not for you.) For the rest of us, you get it, right?
Probably one of the most notorious “cover your track” guys is Israel’s King Saul when confronted by the prophet Samuel, his mentor. God had commissioned Saul to kill the evil Amalekites, men, women, children, and animals. Saul, however, spared the king of the Amalekites and the best of their animals. To him, partial obedience was good enough. Enter Samuel whom Saul greeted with these words: “Blessed are you of the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” At this point, Saul is not doing so well.
It’s confrontation time. Samuel speaks. “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” Busted! The title of “King” is stripped from Saul. And although Saul’s giveaway was the noise of sheep and not bagpipes, he, like Kathy, did not escape the voice of displeasure. In his case, there were two main differences: (1) The displeasure came from God and not his spouse, and (2) No one found humor in Saul’s story.
In the end, neither Saul nor Kathy had “done so well”… relatively speaking, that is.