I had just ordered a Kid’s Scoop at Coldstone’s when a really old guy called me over. He sat against the wall, wrinkled and smiling, but there was something up his sleeve…
“You know what Tutti-Frutti is?” he queried with a twinkle in his eye. “I asked the servers if they had Tutti-Frutti and they just looked at me. Heh-heh-heh-heh!” Then he whispered conspiritorially, “Ask them if they have Tutti-Frutti.”
I walked back to the ice-cream counter, looked over my shoulder at the really old guy and asked the server, “Do you have Tutti-Frutti?” With a knowing look, one of the servers guffawed a little too loudly. I winked and asked again, “Do you have Tutti-Frutti?” This time both servers busted out with phony laughter. I looked over at the really old guy; he had a big grin. So did his daughter. As did the other four members of his family.
I walked over to the family with my ice-cream cup and found out that the really old guy was eighty-nine years old! “Wow! Eighty-nine! I have a question for you then. When I ask this question people sometimes laugh, others get mad, but mostly they ignore me. What do think this question is?” I looked directly at the really old guy, “If you were to die today would you go to Heaven or Hell?”
“Heaven,” he replied. “I’ve been a good boy all my life and I drink a lot. Heh-heh-heh-heh.”
“Believe it or not,” I explained, “according to the Bible good people don’t necessarily go to Heaven, but bad people sometimes do. You know why?” The really old guy pointed to the ceiling and mumbled something.
“Now listen to him Dad…” his daughter chastened while the whole family looked on.
“Because you’re a sinner. If you’ve sinned just once you go to Hell. But Jesus Christ died for your sins. If you believe and repent you will go to Heaven.”
“What nationality are you?” he interrupted.
“Uh… Spanish, English and Welsh,” I replied.
“I’m Polish!” he declared. “I looked at the rain and said ‘Jesus Christ, how did that rain come down? Did you carry it up there?’ Heh-heh-heh-heh!”
“You’re Polish? I asked with mock surprise. “If I would have known that…I would have told you all this more slowly!” The whole family broke out in raucous laughter. I turned to them also, “Now what I’ve said to him, goes for all of you as well.”
They all nodded agreeably while the really old guy mumbled something and pointed to the ceiling.
I left with a half melted cup of ice-cream.