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To Toot Or Not To Toot…

Story ID:8594
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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To Toot Or Not To Toot…
By Chuck Dishno
December 2012

The year was December 1969, Roz and I had been going together for a little over a year and since it was coming up on Christmas I wanted to buy her a nice Christmas gift. I had it in mind to buy her some exotic present since Roz was such a jewel in my life but I wasn’t making too much money so I had to settle for a more practical gift.

I saw Roz every day and most times she would put on a teakettle of water to make tea for us. The teakettle she had was the copper bottom kind with a whistle on top to signal when the water was boiling. Roz had the habit of doing other things while waiting for the tea water. On more occasions than I like to remember she wouldn’t hear the whistle and when she returned to the kitchen the kettle had gone dry and the bottom was burned and sticking to the electric cook top coil.

I seized on this opportunity to buy her a new teakettle, preferably one with a loud whistle. We were living in Fresno where there was a large Sears store. It was about a week before Christmas when I stopped at the Sears store. They had a large kitchen gadget section and when I got to the aisle with the kettles, I was amazed at how many there were on display, the entire aisle was filled with kettles of all kinds and sizes. I started at one end picking each kettle up from its display. Most of them had a thumb latch, when depressed, would lift the cap over the filler/pouring spout. Since this housed the whistle, I would put my mouth as near to the inside and blow hard. It worked and I was soon tooting my way down the aisle trying each one out and trying to keep track as to which one made the loudest toot. This was no easy task since there were so many. When I got to the end of the aisle I turned around and saw, what looked like the entire population of the store watching me. This didn’t bother me as I was on a mission and wasn’t about to be stopped. I just turned around and started back, making mental notes of the winners. By the time I reached the other end. I had made my decision and went back to give it a final toot. About this time, a clerk came up and asked if she could help me. I just said, “No. I think I have made my decision and will take this one. She opened up a large drawer under the counter and gave me a new one in a nice box, then put the display one back on the shelf.

I had it wrapped in the gift-wrapping department then headed over to see Roz. She asked me what I had been doing all afternoon and I said, “Not much of anything, just tooting my way thru Sears.” Roz didn’t ask me what I meant but she must have wondered if it might have something to do with the dinner she had fed me the night before.

On Christmas morning we opened our gifts and Roz was delighted to have a new teakettle since she had just burned up another. The new one proved to do the trick and to my knowledge she always heard that loud whistle and rescued it in time. I think she felt much better that my “tooting” wasn’t the result of some ill-advised bean.

Roz and I were married about a year and a half later and have built up many memories over the past 43 years. I am happy to share some of them with you.