It all started when one of the coffee drinkers at Whataburger said, “It’s not lying if you don’t expect somebody to believe it.”
Then Delbert told his story.
He was in the Navy, traveling across Texas in a bus during the days of the Korean War. He had only $10, but someone had given him a really nice Kaywoodie pipe. He said it was worth about $17.
Somewhere on the trip, a big lady with a small dog got on the bus, asked Delbert to quit smoking, and sat down with her dog. He extinguished the pipe. Not long afterward, he thought, “This bus has a window back here where I’m sitting. I’ll be able to smoke my pipe if I open this window.”
He opened the window. He lit the pipe. The lady screamed at him and threw the pipe out the window. Mighty angry, Delbert sat there for a while and then thought, “I’ll pretend to throw the dog out the window. That’ll show her!”
He walked up the aisle, grabbed the struggling dog, pretended to toss it out the open window … and the dog jumped out! At the next bus stop, the irate lady called the police. After hearing both sides of the story, the officer tried to negotiate a reasonable solution between the warring parties.
He said, “Ma’am, you say your dog was worth $25. Sir, you say your pipe was worth $17. Why don’t you just pay her the difference, and all will be well?”
Delbert didn’t have enough money. The officer was just about to incarcerate him when the dog came running up to the bus station with Delbert’s pipe in his little mouth.
Delbert says he still has the pipe and that it has teeth marks on it.
Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.