This was an addition from Bonanza and The Hot Dog Man
Gene’s reaction to making Mark happy seemed to be common with mostly everyone in our town. It made them feel good to give Mark free food. When we went anywhere, Mark was running on his hyperactive 150 volts. I have to admit he’d readily slow down to eat something. When we realized this pattern, we would approach all small storeowners, hot dog stands, and food kiosks, introduce Mark and ask them not to give him free food.
Invariably, he would round the bleachers at any little league game with a juicy hot dog and a free soda. Why did people do this? Especially, because Mark was supposed to be playing baseball – in right field and he’d be getting free food at he snack shack! Mark is 18 this year, and just last month Steve took him into a café for lunch. Steve went to the men’s room. When he returned, Mark was sipping on a bottle of beer! Steve asked the bartender if Mark had paid for the beer to which the bartender nodded affirmative, Steve was so stunned he failed to ask if he had checked Mark’s age.
In disbelief we filed this under “free stuff.” Once in Santa Cruz, a restaurant owner offered our whole family a free round of beverages. We knew this was because we had Mark with us. Did they think free food and drinks would be a consolation prize for having a special needs child? Well, they were right about that. Who would say no to a few perks?
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